Learning to Trust You
I just wanted to share a verse, if that’s ok. It’s from John 11 in the New Living Translation.
And he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad I wasn’t there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me. Come let’s go see him.”
It’s just that really stuck out with me that another opportunity to believe in Him, every day we’re given, more and more opportunities to believe.
If you can kind of understand your own life as being similar to those of our little shadows, our little children. You can understand what she just read and how Jesus was thinking about all the children that He was dealing with.
Ya know, I think about Elias over here. He’s got a lot of opinions. Ya know, he’s just cute as a button, but he has his thoughts about what he wants. You can see it from here. It's just in his eyes. He wants what he wants. He's going to lean that way into it, and he's going to be upset if he doesn't get it. And he’s going to listen to this tape in a few years probably. But he has this glint in his eye where he knows exactly what it is that he wants and he is going to lean into that. He’s going to have opinions and his head is not going to look where it is supposed to look, and he will be off somewhere else, forcefully applying himself. And the process of parenting is to take his face and hold it so that he is no longer in control to 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 just decide what he wants and get it when he wants it.
So, the process of molding a young child so that they become soft and become trusting sometimes 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 do that with us. In the case of Lazarus, what a tragedy God allowed to happen – a terrible tragedy. A precious man, Lazarus, died. Jesus said, “I'm glad he died.” That's the process that God takes us through. We go through a long time in our lives – depending on how stiff-willed we are, how stiff-necked we are.
We go through a long time in our lives where we just say to God, “That's not okay with me. That’s not okay with me. I don't like that. That’s not okay with me. I don't want that. That's not okay.” And God has got to take our little chins and force the look in the eye, take our hands and pry it off the thing we are grabbing on to and then hold it there, while He sings to us!
“Wait a minute! Contradiction! You’re using violence to steal from me what is rightfully MY thing, and then You are singing to me. This is a contradiction. I don't buy this. There is something wrong with this.” But that’s what God does to us. He pries our hand away from our self-will and our foolishness and all of our pride and arrogance and all of our “demands” that are based on such low-level thinking anyway! He pries our hand off of it and He holds it down... and then He SINGS to us, with gentleness and love and kindness. He is not being mean, as the song said. 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.”
“It's not okay with me! It’s not okay with me!” And as time passes and circumstances happen and Lazarus dies and these things happen to us, we begin to learn how to say, “It's okay now. 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 and I trust Your wisdom and I trust Your careful attention to every detail in my life. And I know that You desperately love me and You know more than I do what is going on here. It wasn't okay, but now it's okay!!! I still don't understand it, but it's okay now. It’s okay now.”
That's how we train our children to learn the trusting process: by singing to them while we overcome their self-will. And then we allow them to come to understand that “It is okay. It really is okay.” “I don't have to have what I think I want, the instant I want it.” That God knows better than we do. And as parents, we know better than our children do, believe it or not. They’re sure that they know best :) But that's just the nature of childhood and the nature of growing up – is that we learn how to say, “It wasn't okay, 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, rather than defy.”
“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.”