Sunday, November 25, 2012

Do I trust God? Really...

I've been struggling with a particular issue lately and I'm focusing my devotional time to satisfying my struggle.  In fact I'm reading a book on my Kindle App on trusting God.  It's not earth shattering, but it's helpful.

Do I trust God?  I came across a quote from MLK, "Faith is taking the first step when can't see the rest of the stairs."  It's not an exact quote, but close enough.  I can say I trust God, but I'm put to the test when things don't go my way or when I don't get what I want.  This struggle stems from my struggle with prayer.  If God knows all, why pray?  Does He wait for His 'prayer warriors' to implore Him to respond and if so, why?  That doesn't seem 'godlike'.  It seems something I would do.  If my kids ask once, I tend to say no, but if they repeatedly ask or if all three ask, I tend to say yes.  Somehow that doesn't seem something God would do.  So I began praying God would reveal to me His plan and show me daily situations I can learn to trust His way and not insist on my way.  I feel better about praying that way...I suppose it's less disappointment.

But trusting God is quite difficult at times.  It seems to me that those who don't identify themselves as Christian but do identify themselves as spiritual suffer from the same concept...trusting God.  He just seems so random.  Some 'good' people suffer while 'bad' people prosper.  Natural disasters affect not only the non-Christians but Christians as well.  Does God punish?  If so, who?  Someone who dies at 47 because of cancer and leaves behind a wife, two kids and a grandson and from all appearance is a really great person, doesn't seem to make sense.  But someone who causes pain on others appears to prosper.  Honestly, because I don't understand and many others don't as well, God just doesn't make sense and it's hard to trust that God.  And it's quite difficult to share God's love because sometimes it seems so shallow.  So, what do I do?  How do I trust God when He just doesn't make sense?

I remember!  I reflect on my life and I remember how God has ALWAYS led me to the path that makes sense.  At the time, I wondered and when I reflect I can honestly say God didn't make sense.  Why didn't I get the job at Whitefish Police Department or Flathead County Sheriff's Office, but instead was a police officer at Columbia Falls Police Department?  A good department, but I wanted more.  Why did I suddenly feel as if I needed to resign and pursue the ministry?  Why did I struggle during seminary and then at my first congregation?  Because it seems God guided me to the Army Chaplaincy where I feel content that where I am, God wants me to be.  I remember all of those struggles and fully believe God is in control, He always does what's best (though sometimes I have to be patient and trust), and so long as I continue to reflect on my life and discern my mistakes and the struggles I create because of my own errors from God's discipline and correction, I feel I can trust God more and rely on myself less.

I can trust God if I seek Him on His terms and not on the God I create.  Mark Twain once said, "In the beginning God created man in His own image and ever since, man has tried to return the favor."  I must learn to trust the God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible and in my life and not create God to be who I expect Him to be.

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