Thursday, March 3, 2011

Messy Thoughts about Trust

Here's another old post that I re-read recently. Funny how old writings are at once obsolete and relevant! I hope it encourages and challenges you as you face the "unknowns" of your life!

So I had this thought this morning.

Well actually it started last night when I began to realize that I am, in reality, terrified of my life. I had basically been pretending (or at least trying to pretend) that I know exactly what is going to happen to me when I graduate: that whatever I think I need to feel "safe" will happen to me- I'll get married, I'll have a good paying job, I'll have made some long term commitment to a missions or ministry group...whatever. But last night I was talking with someone who was pointing out how many unknowns there are and how we have to trust God with them. And I suddenly realized.....I don't want to trust God! I want to be in control!

I don't want to continue to be vulnerable in a relationship where every next step isn't laid out for me, even though I know it's where I need to be. I don't want to apply for a missions school that I can't pay for yet, even though I know it's how I'm being led. I don't want to be in charge of a worship team, being the potential object of criticism if I don't measure up in peoples' minds- even though I know it's what God has given me. I don't even want to give a senior recital! It's being vulnerable in front of other amazing musicians who might judge me!

But...that's when I realized I don't really know how to trust God; that we as humans don't like trust! Because trust doesn't mean agreeing to something when we know the outcome: when we know we won't be abandoned, judged, or humbled. Trust means giving your heart to God without us knowing the outcome! Jesus doesn't call us into a life where everything is laid out. He says "come follow me" and He doesn't hand us a map. He doesn't say "I promise you won't get hurt, I promise you won't be disappointed, I promise you won't have to be vulnerable". Instead, He gives us an example of the exact opposite. He constantly opened Himself up for rejection by the people He came to serve. And He kept getting rejected yet He kept loving. What trust!!! He didn't close off his heart either, or become jaded, or stop giving His real self to people...He always offered His heart, no matter how many times people chose to walk away instead of walk toward Him.

So what do we do instead? We self-protect rather than trust. We refuse to get close to people. We say we don't need them, or we only have relationships with people we can control or manipulate. Or maybe we try and separate our bodies from our hearts and have sexual relationships that are removed from real trust. Or maybe we rush into marriage before we're ready, or we avoid it like the plague. Maybe we stay close to home because we're scared of "not making it" anywhere else, or we run away from home because we've been hurt.

Basically, we try to be autonomous over our own hearts and avoid the possibility of pain at all costs. but this is not the life God has called us to! We have been called into a life of radical trust- a life of the practice of keeping our hearts soft and feeling. This may look like pouring your heart out into orphaned children and letting your heart be broken again and again for them, or entering into a marriage relationship where you have to trust another person to see the real you, or opening up to a friend or counselor who cares about you wants to help you heal from the real issues you've locked deep inside...

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

CS Lewis

listen to what Jesus says:
"the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted
to proclaim freedom to the captives,
to open the prison for those who are bound;
...to comfort all who mourn..
to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness"

Isaiah 61, Luke 4:17

Jesus is safe! He is the only thing that is "safe". Practice trusting in Him- not outcomes, results, plans, finances. Let Him break down your defenses.

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