Friday, September 28, 2018

...you of little faith

The first time I ever remember Pop getting mad at me, I was sitting in a tree. I can't tell you exactly how old I was, but it was early elementary school some time. I was on a limb, wanting to get down, so Pop reached up fro me and told me to jump.

I wouldn't.

He kept telling me to jump, assuring me that he would catch me--I had nothing to worry about. All I needed to do was let go of the limb and push myself forward. Instead, I was in tears, sitting in a tree. No matter how many times Pop assured me that he would catch me, I couldn't do it. He had never let me down, never given me a reason to think he would let me fall.

I couldn't just trust him.

Trust. That's something I still struggle with, despite all my efforts. I know that God is worthy of my trust. I know His promises are true, and that when His word says that He guides my steps--well, that's true, too.

The problem is, I just can't get my feelings to line up with my knowledge.

We just finished talking about Joseph at church. A few years ago, Pop sent me a sermon series by Tony Evans about Joseph called "Detours to Destiny." It was 2014, and I felt lost. Grad school wasn't going according to the way I had planned. I felt like somehow I had messed up God's plans for me, and I was going to miss out on His purpose. I felt like a huge failure. I had uprooted my family and moved them to Toledo, Ohio, to pursue what I thought was God's clear plan for my life. I was going into Medical Physics, which seemed like the perfect fit for me.

Until life happened, and I couldn't make myself fit.

I can look back throughout my life and see how God has worked, even in the hard times. I can see how things that I thought were going all wrong worked out to put me right where I should be at the right time.

So why in the world do I still think I'm messing up God's plans?

There's a quote I ran across a while back:

"If you think you've blown God's plan for your life, rest in this.
You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful."
~Lisa Bevere

When Joseph's brothers decided to sell him off into slavery, they were pretty sure they were keeping him from a destiny they didn't like. They didn't want to bow down before their little brother. They sold him off, and that was the end of things.
Here's an excerpt of the post I wrote when I finished listening to that sermon series:

"He wouldn't have been able to provide for his brothers if he hadn't been second in charge in Egypt.
Joseph wouldn't have been second in charge over all of Egypt if he hadn't interpreted the Pharoh's dream.
He wouldn't have interpreted Pharoh's dream if he hadn't met the cup bearer and baker.
He wouldn't have met them if he hadn't been thrown in the dungeon.
He wouldn't have been thrown in the dungeon if he hadn't been falsely accused by Potiphar's wife.
He wouldn't have been falsely accused if he hadn't been put in charge of Potiphar's household.
He wouldn't have been put in charge if Potiphar hadn't bought him.
He couldn't have been bought as a slave if he hadn't been sold to Egyptian slavers.
He wouldn't have been sold if his brothers hadn't thrown him into a pit.
He wouldn't have been thrown into a pit if his brothers hadn't been jealous of him.
His brothers wouldn't have been jealous if he hadn't been showing off the coat his dad gave him."

God works out all the details of our lives, even when we can't figure out what's going on. Proverbs 16:9 says,
"We can make our plans,
 but the LORD determines our steps."

I don't know why trust is such a hard thing for me. I get so hung up on trying to control my life, and I forget that control is just an illusion. I make plan after plan, searching for purpose, but I lose sight of the fact that God is the only One in control. He has a plan for me, and who am I to think that I can change that?

"So it is when I declare something.
My word will go out and not return to Me empty,
but it will do what I wanted;
it will accomplish what I determined."
~Isaiah 55:11

I wonder how often He looks at me, shakes His head, and says, "You of little faith. Why can't you just trust me? Why do you always try so hard to control everything, despite all the times I've shown you that you can't? When are you going to learn that My plans are best for your life, and I will make them happen? Just jump when I tell you to, and trust Me to catch you."
 
  
 

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