Are you blessed by friends who tell you the truth? I am. A few years back, when I was being stupid about some credit card debt and not telling my husband, one of my friends took me by the shoulders and said, “Release yourself.” That evening, I went home and confessed. I’m still married — to the same guy, and everything! See what having a good friend can do?
More recently, I was complaining about God to another friend. I didn’t want to actually say I was complaining about God. I acted like I was complaining about all sorts of other things except God (because really, that’s what we do, isn’t it?). I was complaining about a lack of clarity, and desire for more understanding, and basically wanted God to send an explicit email, with pictures, diagrams, maps, and links to Wikipedia for further research. So there I was, complaining, whining, blah-blah-blah-ing when my friend, exasperated, exclaimed, “Stop trying to microwave God!”
I looked at her and said, “That’s going to be a blog post.”**
It’s true that I often work my own self out in these posts (and more so in the ones I don’t show you!). Sometimes — like now — I have all these thoughts colliding in my head and the only way I can make sense of them is to write them down. And it’s true I was — and probably still am and will continue to — trying to rush God in doing His work in me. I’d like the game plan, please. I’d like to know how every little detail will play out to make sure I approve.
I know I’m in training for something big. I know it like I know my name and the smell of my children. I know that God is working out something pretty amazing, and that it’s coming, and soon. And like the anticipation of Christmas morning, I. am. so. excited.
But while I’m down here trying in my typically human way to decide if God is really trustworthy, this past Sunday’s sermon pointed something out to me. Like any relationship, it’s a two-way street. While I’m down here working hard on this whole trust-in-God issue, God is wondering if He can trust me.
Now, I’m purposefully avoiding the whole omnipotent thing. I’m not in the mood for a scholarly discussion — this is a relational one. There is a discussion to be had on that note, and essentially yes, God knows already exactly how it will all pan out. But part of His training, His whispering to my spirit, His way of growing me up is to place something before me and say, “Can I trust you with this, Kerry?”
Can God trust me to be a good steward of my money? Can He trust me to use my gifts for His kingdom? Can He trust me to treasure my children and honor my husband? And most of all: Can He trust me to trust Him?
Ah-HA! Here is the crux of the matter, the marrow of the bone of life. Can God trust us to walk in the faith it takes to live out the big, humongous calling He has placed on our lives?
Have you ever had someone just move in and take over a project? Maybe while you’re in the kitchen, cooking, and someone comes in and starts stirring the pot? Or do you have someone who always reminds you to send a sweater with your kids, because they don’t trust you to actually think your children might get cold in the winter? Or do you have someone who always second guesses you at work, not believing you’ve thought of all the details? Annoying, sometimes, isn’t it? Because it kind of sends the message that you’re not enough. That you’re not good enough. That you couldn’t have possibly thought this all through. It says, “You’re not trustworthy.”
I don’t want to even think of how many times I’ve done this to God. “But God, what about this? If I get there at this time, how will all this work out? If that happens, how will this play out?” If God is anything like me (the me who hates to explain myself to anyone, to answer to people, to constantly be barraged by questions about what I’m doing where I’m going how I’m doing it — okay, God is probably nothing like me or everything like me but for completely different reasons) then He eventually would grasp His own hair in ultimate frustration, bulge out His eyes a little bit and yell, “STOP IT!!!! JUST STOP IT ALREADY!!! I. HAVE. IT. COVERED!!!!!!! STOP STIRRING MY POTS AND REMINDING ME TO TAKE CARE OF MY KIDS AND JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE AND I’LL GET IT ALL DONE IF YOU JUST LET ME HAVE A MINUTE TO THINK!!!“
Okay God probably never said that.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been that annoying in my utter and total lack of trust. Thank God He’s patient and wouldn’t pull His hair out over my control issues, because trust isn’t an overnight thing. There is no app for that. In this instant-messaging, Googled-it world, trust is still a slow-cooker type of roast. I can’t microwave my own growth, and I can’t zap God into submission to my fears and insecurities. What I can do is suck in the aromas as He anoints me with the herbs I need to do His work: sage wisdom, rosemary trust, the fennel of faith.
Bad writing aside, I can rest in the knowledge that He has a place at the banquet table set just for me. I can luxuriate in the fact that I will dine with Him for eternity. Frenetic energy and iPhones and control freaks and guilt trips will be gone. And if I allow Him to cook at His own pace, I believe that my Jesus will look upon me and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.”
**Thanks and love to Aisha Irvis for inspiring this post by yelling at me to stop trying to microwave God. LOL!