Trust is the issue. Trust is the conversation for the day.
The conversation today applies to trusting God to move a loved one along in his/her faith with or without my help, and for me not to “worry” about their progress (or lack there of). My timeline as not as important as God’s timeline is.
With regard to that point, I truly do struggle. My heart aches for a particular loved one to “get it”… to understand what I get. I want them to be a Christ follower, but that is not my decision – that is their decision right now. I am placed in their life for a reason, but I cannot force a decision for them. I can help, but not decide.
To this very point, I reread a message I sent a friend who is thinking about God and turning his life over to Him. He has lived a hard life, yet he sent me a message saying that he is going to take baptism classes…A part of me worries he is doing this for someone else rather than himself – thereby missing the whole point – so I sent the following message:
“Mr. JH… Wow… thanks for telling me. You are going to learn a ton… Taking this class brings you one step closer to baptism. In addition, I want you to know that this is also about journey as well as the destination. The one thing I will encourage you to think about is that Baptism is something you do with YOUR heart and mind … this is something you CANNOT do just because someone merely suggested it, or someone else WANTED you to do it. You cannot do it because you THINK it is the right thing to do. Rather it is something that you do because YOU what to know more, to learn more, to grow closer to God. You want God in your heart and to shine out of you. You want Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. You want to turn your life over unconditionally. If you are doing it for the right reasons this will truly be an amazing time. If you are doing this for the wrong reasons, you will never truly turn yourself over to God and will miss out on SO much. The good thing is the class will help you understand that more thoroughly.”
His answer – “I did this on my own and felt it was the right time for both my heart and mind.”
In other words, and to follow my own advice, no matter how much I want a loved one to move closer to God, I cannot force the issue. I cannot make that person live the life “I” want them to live. Rather THEY must decide. I need to TRUST that God will nudge them and move them along at His pace. I cannot set the pace.
And out of this thought process I find the hardest word to get past – Trust.
Completely trusting God is hard for me at times. There are times where I find it hard to trust Him to move my loved one along… possible on a slightly different path than I would have chosen. But I have learned that trust is about letting go of the keys, handing them over to God, sitting in the back seat, and saying “You drive.” For me, that is one of the hardest things to do. I may give up the keys. I may give up the steering wheel. I may give up the control, but there are times when I inch up and want to say something. I want to be a back seat driver. I inch up because I want to head down a different path. But that isn’t trust. That is more about limiting God than totally trusting God. That is more about handing over temporary control rather than full control.
So in conclusion I will say this prayer that I said during my dad’s cancer battle – that point where I finally stopped and said, “Here you go Lord. You know my problems. You know my pain. You know my needs. I cannot do this alone any more. I am putting 100% of my trust in You. I cannot begin to understand why all of this is happening, but I can put my trust in You. So, Lord, here ya go. Help me. Please…. ”
If I do that. If I really do trust Him. If I really do hand off the keys, amazing things will start to happen – not just for me, but those around me.