Bandit the dog has a wonderful life and he trusts his master, that’s me. He is free to roam within the boundaries I have set in our yard using a wireless remote containment system. This invisible force keeps him from becoming roadkill on the highway in front of our farm. Mr. Bandit wears a collar that emits a beep if he gets within ten yards of the boundary. If he goes beyond that, he gets a shock; which has only occurred once during his training. At that time, we set up flags and walked the boundary lines with him and when he passed out of the safe zone and got shocked, we brought him back to safety. He quickly learned the flags and the sound were a signal of danger. He could have ignored the boundary and run through the invisible barrier, all the while being shocked, but he didn’t. After two weeks we removed the flags because he understood the beep means stop. Bandit enjoys freedom with limits. What he doesn’t do is spend his day fretting and stewing because he can’t go “over there.” Or he doesn’t doubt whether I love him less because I place limits on his freedom. He never worries that I will abandon him, not feed him or provide him a with a home. He trusts me.
I must admit I have no doubt there are times he may wish I would move faster when I don’t feed him right away or take him on his morning walk on his timetable. But in those moments what he does do is stay a little closer by my side and follow me around while patiently waiting. He trusts in me because he knows me, I have proven I am trustworthy. And I love him.
Christine the human being trusts her Master, that’s God. I have a wonderful life! I am free to roam within the boundaries God has set for me in the world. He uses an invisible, and enforceable only by choice, containment system found in his Word (The Bible). Which, if I choose to trust in will keep me from becoming roadkill on the highway of life. When I study it, the truth it contains and the message of salvation become the boundary flags and warning signals for navigating this complex thing we call life, both this life and the next. But we are only saved if we choose to place our trust in God through Jesus Christ.
I have the option to and have ignored the warning flags and signals and been shocked, sometimes badly, in and by life. My Master walks the fence line beside me and rescues me if I choose to let him. And there were times that I must admit I didn’t choose to roll with the “God is really in charge of everything” plan. I wanted to trust in myself mostly, but nearly anything but God.
Please allow me to clarify. I have always believed in God. However, I have come to understand it is one thing to believe in God and is altogether another thing to trust God. Let’s face facts here. I was being “shocked” because I wasn’t trusting God and what He says is true.
Where did I get the impression God says things with a wink, a nod and his fingers crossed behind his back? That old fibber fear is the root of my trust issues. Why do I struggle trusting other people to God’s care and provision? Or trusting God with my finances or trusting him with my past and my future or with other humans’ opinions of me and many, many other things? Jesus Christ and God’s Word both warn me fear is a big fat lie which has robbed me of so much living. Eventually, literally by the grace of God, and by placing my trust in him, I learned the thoughts, temptations and behaviors which are warning signals of danger he warned me to avoid. I enjoy freedom with limits. What I no longer do is spend my days fretting and stewing because I can’t go “over there.” Or doubting he loves me less because he placed limits on my freedom. I don’t worry that he will abandon me, or not care and provide for me.
I have let me down. Other people have let me down. God has never let me down. And here is an uncomfortable reality, my greatest growth has come through suffering and pain and my greatest suffering has come through too much pleasure. If I stop and look at God’s track record in my own life, I must conclude He has never failed me, that he is good for his Word and completely trustworthy!! Running the universe is a big job he does so well! The sun rises and sets each day, the earth rotates on its axis and so on and so forth, without our assistance folks, and the evidence he is trustworthy is all around us! As the Apostle Paul said in Romans so that we are without excuse!
Our national motto is in God we Trust, but truth be told I believe that very few people really do trust Him! And that statement makes me incredibly sad. I think far too many folks believe he is some far distant disinterested being, malevolently watching us from afar. Rolling his eyes and laughing at us as we muddle through life instead of the God who is a close, caring companion. I used to, but I don’t anymore, buy that lie for a single second, not because I embrace some blind, mindless faith, but because of the amount of evidence! Not only the evidence of his work in my life but the proof all around me and throughout history. And from what I have seen, many people of faith are stuck where I used to be, trusting more in themselves, other people, leaders, governments and money than they trust God. But we are in good company! even Jesus closest companions at first, didn’t trust he could calm their storms, and they could reach out and touch God wearing skin!! Doubt is normal for us finite creatures. But the disciples lack of trust was temporary, as should ours be. The more we get to know his nature, character and trustworthiness through his Word and actions in our lives, the more we can recognize him in the world around us. Which builds our trust.
Today I know if I choose to stay close to him; he will act in his time and his way which is always the right time and way and guide me along the journey he has set out for me. Which may not be easy or comfortable. He never hid the facts that if I follow him, I too would have a cross to bear, and a crown to wear in that order. I must admit that there are times I become impatient when he doesn’t answer my prayers right away or on my timetable or in the way I want him to. But in those moments what I have learned to do is to stay a little closer by His side, waiting patiently and trusting. Because he is trustworthy. And he loves me. And he loves you too.
In God we trust.
Be joy filled always,