DayBreaks for 01/10/12 – The Horse, the King, the Child of God, Trust #14

King William

From November 2001:

Cuthbert, having just received a beautiful horse from the king because the former is limp and aging, rides down the road, sees a ragged beggar, and gives him the horse.  Word reaches the king.  He is angry.  At their next meeting, the king says to Cuthbert, ‘I gave you a magnificent horse and you squandered it on a worthless beggar.  I should have given you a sorry old mare.’

“Ah, my beloved king,” says Cuthbert, “you value the son of a thoroughbred more than you value a son of God.”  (Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning)

We tend to exalt the things we value, don’t we?  The king valued the horse – Cuthbert valued the beggar because he saw him as part of the special creation of God.  In Matthew, Jesus told us: “I tell you solemnly, insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (25:40)

Our minister is not only our minister – he also works on a volunteer basis as a chaplain to the police department in our town.  He’s had extensive training in dealing with crisis situations and often accompanies the police to do death notifications or to assist in times of crisis.  His training has led him to develop the skills necessary to assist in situations of major disasters, and it was that training that led him to receive a phone call a while back asking him to come to New York City to work with and minister to the recovery workers at the remains of the World Trade Center.   Now as it turns out, there was the potential of serious events happening in our church family at the same time as he was called to be gone.  There were some in the congregation who were very upset – even angry – that he would leave for two weeks at a time when so much could go on in our church family.  They felt he should have been here “in case” something happened.

I think that is very sad, but even more, I think it shows a lack of trust.  Do you see it?  These people who had these feelings believed that they knew better than God where the minister should be during those two weeks.  And that is a lack of trust in God to know what is best and right and perfect in each and every situation.  If we trust God – and not our ministers – we would know that it just doesn’t matter where our minister is at any given moment in time.  By not wanting him gone, they may have been thwarting the direct and perfect will of God for him during the weeks of October 21 through November 4.  They aren’t trusting that God may have brought him to New York City because there was one soul – one potential “son of God” or “daughter of God” – that he was uniquely created to reach for Jesus.

Our lack of trust in God causes us to make judgments and pronouncements that, if we look behind the surface to the reality behind them, show that we trust our wisdom more than the wisdom of the Ancient of Days, the only One who knows and sees the end from the beginning.  We have our own opinions about how things should go.  We have to let go of them.  We have to take to heart the words of Romans 14:4 – “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Trusting God means not only trusting Him and His actions in our own lives, but also in the lives of those around us.  How dare we presume to be wiser than God!

But trusting Him frees us – it frees us from our own preconceptions about life and how it SHOULD work – because only He truly knows what the future holds and how it will all work together for our good.  It frees us from the responsibility of making our lives work out okay – because that’s His job.  It frees us from judging situations as I described above – because if we trust that God knows what He is doing, then we don’t have to be too noble or wise and have to try to think it all through and reason it all out.

Ah, trust.  What a blessed relief to not have to pretend any longer to be God – to be able to surrender all that life brings to our table to Him!  What a blessing to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that whether we awake to a new day or die in our beds, that we don’t have to worry about a thing because He’s already got it all covered and under control!

So, you may ask: “Did those serious things happen in your church while your minister was gone?”  I’m not going to tell.  Why?  Because it doesn’t matter if they did or not.  If they did – it is because God willed it to be so – not because someone was gone ministering to hurting men and women on the other side of the country.  If they didn’t happen during that time – it is also because God willed it to be so – not because someone felt it was wrong for the minister to be gone.  Do you see how trust frees us?

Don’t you want to be free from the responsibility for controlling your life?  James 4:14-16 counsels us: “14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  Here is the key to the Christian’s peace – trusting in the Lord’s will for our lives, and not our own self-made plans.

PRAYER: We are so foolish, Lord, and have things in very wrong priority in our lives!  We think we are wiser than You, that surely our will is wiser and better than yours.  Have mercy on us, sinners, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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