Archives For Trust

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Noah’s Ark, an all new VeggieTales, features the story of Pa Grape as Noah as only Big Idea can do. It is, of course, a lesson in trusting God. Do we trust him–even when what he asks of us makes no sense? He may not ask us to make a giant boat in the middle of desert, but he’ll certainly invite us out of our comfort zones, and into a place where we most trust him.

Remember: he doesn’t call the equipped; rather, he equips the called. The point is we can’t do it (whatever it is) on our.

That’s right where God wants us.

And that is the lesson of Noah: trust, and obey.

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When someone so well-loved, widely regarded, respected, and talented as Robin Williams was passes on it’s like losing a friend. Or a family member. This is someone who came into our homes week after week, who we visited at the cineplex, who was in the news.

So it hits hard.

Doubly so, and especially for those of is who grew up watching Mr. Williams’s work, because it reminds us of stark naked reality: if someone so rich, successful, and nearly universally loved as Williams was can die, so can we all.

We are not immune to death’s call. So far as I know there’s but one way to enter this world (birth), and though it take a myriad forms, one way to leave it:

Death.

As the story of Williams’s death broke we all felt you chill winds of mortality blow over our souls. Wealth, success, fame, power, regard are no antidote. While wealth may buy us extra time, it’s no guarantee. The late Steve Jobs was a billionaire, was able to extemd his life by a few years, yet still he had to pay the boatman.

Death, as Shakespeare said, is the “undiscovered country, from whose borne no traveler returns.” Even those of us who are Christians don’t know what awaits us on the other side. We have the Bible, and we have hope. But none of, despite claims to the contrary, has actually crossed over, seen what lies in that far country, and come back to report our findings.

It doesn’t work that way. God generally does not, as much as we wish it, gives us foreknowledge of our own ends. He teaches is instead to number our days, to live as if He were coming back, indeed to live as if each day was our last.

Because we never know. It could be a car accident, a plane crash, a heart attack, a tumor, or any number of things which could lay each one of us low. The only think I know that is sure, upon which I have staked my life, is this:

“He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. He that lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

That’s what it comes down to, friends:

Faith, and

Trust

Where are you placing yours? Knowing that this one life you’ve been given here upon this earth will end, where–in whom–are you placing your faith, your trust?

Your (eternal) life depends upon it.

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Recently, I set my face like flint upon a course of action which I believed was ordained of God. The signs were there, confirming words were spoken. It seemed all but assured.

I had faith (was it presumption?) that this was the thing to do.

Others didn’t see it that way, questioned my resolve, my commitment.

But I am a stubborn man, and wouldn’t relent (was this perceived as controlling?).

In my stubbornness, I missed it:

One cannot believe for others, bestow faith upon them. Though I tried–how I tried.

I said “See? The signs are there.”

“No, this is not for us, not now.”

Had God really spoken? It had seemed that way at the time; doors had been opened. It didn’t matter. Whether he had spoken or not, had opened a door or not, the simple fact is this:

There’s no wanting something for others more they want it themselves.

Oh, sure, one may want all one wants, but all the wanting in the world can’t change other’s hearts. Thus it was that my faith and trust became mere pixie dust–a kind of magical thinking whereby I thought I could bend reality to my will.

But all of the faith in the world is no match for the power of free will.

The simple truth about it is that this ordeal, avoidable as it was, was more about the condition of my heart than it was anything else:

Because I gave it power over me, let it invalidate me. Because I wasn’t being followed, I questioned my ability to lead, and dug my heels in even more.

The truth is, it became an idol. I wanted this more than I wanted God. A very wise man told me:

“Your desperation in this matter smacks of control. Fight for your heart first, then for those in your charge.”

I didn’t want it to be true.

But it was: I wanted to be in control. Faith became presumption, because I was sure I knew what was best for others.

I was playing God.

I repented in dust and ashes.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been so sure of something that you missed God, and thus mistreated the hearts you were supposed to care for?