Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More on Trust

Our pastor recently spoke on the story of Abigail and David.  In some ways, I think this story is almost "packaged".  It is simple and ends wonderfully.  He protects, he is insulted, he seeks revenge, she steps in, he backs down, God defends and kills the idiot, and he marries the princess (ok, well the rich, beautiful, wise, kind woman.)

Life gets harder when there is silence from God and when the fool lives in peace and the insult is never answered.

Now there is the good point of listening to wise counsel.  The point of a woman who can be approached.  Even the servants knew that she was someone they could go to who could take action.  For a woman who steps in, even in opposition to her husband, and does what is right to protect her family and do what is right. (This would be an interesting story to bring up in the face of the "submit no matter what" theology!)

But to deal with an insult never answered is a constant question and struggle for me.  To have been put through pain un-neededly, insulted in pain, slandered, and not listened to by one who then goes on to have no consequences... it is tough.

Yet in that comes the sovereignty of God.  The God who could have, didn't stop them.  He didn't.  God stood by and let us suffer.  I still have questions about that....yet what I do know is that God, through it all, taught me to know Him - through the pain.

(Yet Abigail admits the injustice.....  there is power in hearing it admitted even if it is not by the person who did it.)

But through it all, God taught me to know Him.  Which brings me back to the question of trust.  How then can we trust?  Not only can we not trust people, we can't even trust God to keep our lives free of pain.  So on what is the basis of trust then?  I think it comes down to this one thing - that we can trust the heart of God towards us.

I grew up in the seventies, and yeah, back in the days when traveling groups all dressed in the same outfits would come to church and sing... this was way back before we started on our gypsy life of moving... and I remember this song, and it comes to mind as I write.  I think as a young kid, I heard it and thought about being taken through, as in safely through without it touching me, difficulties... but as an adult, I'm beginning to understand how through, as in right through being hurt, scarred, confused, broken, God will take me through it all.

I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

I've been to lots of places,
I've seen a lot of faces,
there's been times I felt so all alone.
But in my lonely hours,
yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus lets me know that I was His own

I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know God could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do.
So just because God is in charge and He is using the things we go through, does it mean we just never deal with injustice?  I don't think so.  I think it is just that we need to deal with injustice from a place of wisdom and not from a place of wounded trust.  I'm just not there yet.  I'm not even sure what there looks like.  Perhaps it is one of those places where someone else needs to step in - an Abigail, only going to the offender - or do we just wait for the Lord to call to account?  David only had to wait ten days for justice.  My wait has been much longer....

Then comes the question of priorities.  Is this really a priority?  In the big picture, is it a priority?  I think of it today like a WWI scenario....

You're in a fox hole with bullets flying overhead and bombs going off.  Your captain ignores your dislocated shoulder, insults you, calls you a coward and a slacker in front of your company, repeatedly dumps loads on your injured arm, and ignores you when all you are asking is for help to wrench it back into position.  It is wrong - very wrong.  But in the big picture of what is going on - is it a priority?  Yes, he is, like Nabal, an idiot, but there are more important things going on right now.  When our company retreats and others take the forward position, then he should be dealt with by company commander, but right now... is it a priority?

I would like it dealt with right now - David's ten day wait seem like a walk in the park to me today.  But where are my priorities?  And who do I believe is in control?  I have to believe two things about God to stay where I am.  The first that His heart towards me in all that He allows is good.  The second is that He knows in intimate detail the hurt and how I feel - He holds my heart.

So today as my heart grieves from one wound from one person and looks forward in the next weeks to coming face to face with another person who has never answered to the wounding he has caused and will likely cause more, I look quietly up at God asking two things - for justice and for mercy.

But I have to trust.  "Whom have I in heaven besides You and on earth I desire nothing besides You".  I have to trust.  And that trust is based squarely on His heart for me and His knowing the depths of my pain.  Trust based on a deep knowing.  He knows me.  I know Him.

I don't like everything.  No.  But in the grand scheme of things, there are things more important than my life of comfort and happiness.  So I go on trusting God through deep pain and just go on....

1 comment:

Cindy said...

your post makes me smile a little bit....because ..... my husband and I have a tiny little joke between us in times like these.
when we are hurting, confused,
troubled one of us turns to the other and says....
well, I guess we have to be the grownups this time.

To us that means....we have to choose to act the way a grown up would act and not how a child would act. even though it isn't fair, even though someone else is very very wrong.... someone has to be the grown up...and we choose to see these things in this light.
God helping us... we have done it many times. and yes, it may still mean confrontation, at some point...

its not that we like having to do it and sometimes it just really stinks! ....but, I'd rather choose to follow God's leading and be the grownup....

Hold on Ellie! Hold on!!