Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done…
C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady
I posted this quote on my Facebook page about a year ago and have come to understand my own heart when I realize that I really do not like this quote. By that, I do not mean that the quote does not register with me as being true, what I mean is that I do not like the idea that living the Christian life, learning to trust that my heavenly Father really does know what he is doing is a daily learning experience. I recently came to realize that I don’t like trusting God on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis. I much prefer what I call the “monthly trusting of God scenario”. I believe that many Christian living in the West and especially living here in America like as well. We enjoy relatively good health, make enough money to buy what we need and most of what we want and find ourselves basically trusting in our own abilities to provide for ourselves and those around us.
But then our Father sends something our way (loss of job, sickness, troubles in our marriage, rebellious children, something usually showing that he is taking aim at our dearest idols) to remind us that this entire Christian life really is a day-by-day, hour-by-hour trusting in him. For me recently the idol has been money.
Since resigning as pastor of a church over a year ago I have been working with a wonderful company where I work with great people and usually have fun in what I do. But like many start-up companies the two to three years is a time of growing and developing the business. So I find myself, sometimes asking the question: “OK, where is the money coming from now”.
In all of this I have come to the conclusion that I am an “entitlement person”. All the time we hear critics of our government talking about “entitlement people”, people who because of the way the US government has set up things like welfare, social security, medicare and medicaid believe they are “entitled to these benefits”. I do not expect these entitlements from the government but from God himself. I have a college degree (two actually). I have worked hard for the past 30 years. I am a “middle class American” and (I could add many more) … therefore I should not have to watch my nickles and dimes. I should not have to “pray for my daily bread” (again only my monthly bread) I should be able to live an easy life by this time in my life.
Many of you have thought these things (all of you at one time or another?) but hesitate to voice them. My daughter Bethany recently reminded me that we often learn to see the joy in the midst of difficulties when we write them down, that is write down our struggles, write down our tendencies to become preoccupied with the moth larvae in the cashews (you will need to read her blog) so that we do not see the little things our Father sends our ways as great sources of joy. When our focus in on our situation and not on our Father, we can easily be distracted by difficulties to the point that we miss great sources of joy.
So why am I posting this? Well, as Bethany says that writing about struggles often helps us see the joy that is often hidden in difficult times. I am also tired of living this way. Not tired of living having to trust God every day but tired of not liking having to trust God every day. I want to live like a Christian who really knows that Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 are trustworthy:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mat 6:25-29 ESV).
I want to look at the lilies in the field and remember the words that Jesus said.