Learning to Trust Our Father: Overcoming Our Self-Will
Understand that your own life is similar to those of our little shadows, our little children. When you understand how Jesus thought about all the children He was dealing with, life makes more sense.
At times you may see a little child bouncing on someone’s knee and you know he’s cute as a button, but at the same time, he still has his thoughts about what he wants. He can have a lot of opinions, and you can see it in his eyes. He wants what he wants, and he’s going to lean into it, and he’s going to be upset if he doesn’t get it. He has a glint in his eye where he knows exactly what he wants and he’s leaning into it. He has opinions and his head is not going to look where it’s supposed to look. One minute he’s with you, the next minute he’s off somewhere else, forcefully applying himself. The process of parenting is to take his face and hold it so that he is no longer in control. We must apply guidance and character direction by letting him know that he is not in control of his own circumstances. He is not God, and he doesn’t have the right to decide what he wants and when he wants it.
There’s a process of molding a young child so that they become soft and trusting. It’s the same with us and sometimes that means that our wills have to be overcome. Our wills have to be challenged. And the harder case we are, the more that God needs to challenge us. In the case of Lazarus, what a tragedy God allowed—a terrible tragedy. A precious man, Lazarus, died and Jesus said, “I’m glad he died.” God has to teach us how to trust. Jesus said of his precious friend Lazarus’ death, “For your sake, I’m glad that he died because you are learning how to trust Me now. Nothing is impossible for those who trust.” That’s a process that God takes us through. And this can be a long process in our lives—depending on how stiff-willed and how stiff-necked we are—when God is working on us, His stubborn little children.
Most of us go through a long time in our lives where we say to God, “That’s not okay with me. I don’t like that. I don’t want that. That’s not okay.” And God has to take our chins and force the look in the eye. He has to take our hands and pry them off the thing we are grabbing on to and then hold them there—while He sings to us! The question is, who will learn to listen to the song, rather than think of themselves? That’s the question.
Most start this way: “Contradiction! No fair! You’re using violence to steal from me what is rightfully MY thing, and then You’re singing to me. This is a contradiction. I don’t buy this. There is something wrong with this.” Children tend to start out that way with their parents’ “interference” with what they “want” and adults do the same with God. Just as good parents violate the self-will of their children when it’s necessary to protect and guide and train them, how much more is our Father in Heaven wise, creative, and relentless in His training of us. He pries our hand away from our self-will and foolishness and all of our pride and arrogance. He pries our hands off and holds them down...and then He sings to us. While restraining and teaching us, He SINGS to us...with gentleness and love and kindness. He is not being mean. (Our “demands” are generally based on such low-level thinking anyway!) He is not being hard or mean to us. That’s not the nature of His character. He is just simply saying to us, “You don’t really know what is best.”
Our normal way of responding is, “It’s not okay with me.” And as time passes and circumstances happen...slowly, ever so slowly, we begin to learn how to say, “It’s okay now. I didn’t like it, I didn’t want it, I still don’t totally understand it, but because I trust Your Sovereignty, it’s okay now. I trust Your wisdom, and I trust Your careful attention to every detail in my life. I know that you desperately love me and you know more than I do about what is going on here. It wasn’t okay, but now it is okay!!! I still don’t understand it, but it’s okay now.”
That’s the process of how we train our children to learn to trust: by singing to them while we overcome their self-will. We allow them to come to understand that, “It’s okay. It really is okay. I don’t have to have what I think I want—the instant I want it.” God knows better than we do, and as parents, we know better than our children do, believe it or not—(smiling at the children in the room). The children are sure that they know best, of course. : ) That’s just the nature of childhood and the nature of growing up, physically and Spiritually. We learn how to say, “It wasn’t okay, but it’s okay now. I didn’t get what I thought I wanted, but it really is okay, because I trust My Father. I know He loves me, and I know He is desperately involved in the details and able to do anything far beyond what we could ever ask for or imagine. It’s okay now. I let go of it. I worship You—rather than defy and challenge, or ignore You.”
Simple, trusting Faith. That is the stuff that real miracles are made of. Not the showy, religious placebo stuff, but rather the real, genuine, life-changing miracles from the Father’s hand. Listening, leaning into Him in intimate love and trust. And releasing it ALL into His hands. : ) Amen : ) Just a thought...