Tag Archives: Trust

Hope of Things New – A Poem

Innocence lost
can never be restored

Trust broken
is forever destroyed

Zuzu’s petals
cannot be pasted

Hope shattered
remains in tiny pieces

Cake once eaten
can never be made whole

With you and me
restoration is impossible

But with God
all things are possible
all things can be made new
all things will be used for our good

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My God of the Little Things

The God of the Universe has done some very big things, like creating the Universe and all that it is in it for starters. He enabled Moses to part the Red Sea, caused the walls of Jericho to fall, walked on water, and calmed a raging storm. And the biggest thing He did was to give His life to save ours, thereby defeating death forever.

So when we think of God, we think of the big stuff and sometimes think it is only the big problems that we should bring to Him in prayer. We pray for cancer to be cured, wars to be ended, and the economy to turn around. Many people think that we shouldn’t bother God with the little day-to-day issues that we all deal with. But I disagree. Although God is indeed the God of the big stuff, I know that my God is also the God of the little things.

He proved this fact to me just last week. Let me tell you what He did.

Several weeks ago I was asked to be a group leader for a local evening class of Bible Study Fellowship. I attended the pilot class last spring and the evening timeframe worked great for me because I work fulltime and could never attend the day class. But there’s added responsibility and time commitment with being a group leader, not the least of which is the leaders’ meetings that start at 5:30 a.m.

Now anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a morning person. Most mornings my alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. and I hit the snooze button two or three times before dragging myself out of bed. And most mornings when I do get up my feet hurt terribly as I walk to the bathroom. It generally takes two cups of coffee before I feel awake. So I was very concerned about how I was going to get up at 4:20 a.m. so that I could make it to the leaders’ meeting on time. So I prayed about it and asked the other BSF leaders to pray about it, too. It was a little thing – getting up on time for an early meeting – but I prayed about it anyway.

The morning of the meeting came. I had set my alarm for 4:20 a.m. When the alarm went off, my eyes popped open and I was wide awake. I got right out of bed without hitting the snooze button even once. As I walked across the floor, I realized my feet didn’t hurt at all. I started the coffee, but didn’t have a cup until after my shower and then I only had one cup before leaving the house. I took a travel cup with me, but it took me most of the two-hour meeting to finish it. Even more amazing than that, I wasn’t tired all day long at work.

My God of the little things was with me that morning, and I trust that He will be with me as I continue to fulfill the responsibilities of BSF group leader that He has called me to.

Whatever little things you are facing today, trust in the God of the little things to see you through. Don’t wait for the big stuff before you call on Him; the little stuff that matters to you matters to Him, too.

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The Waiting – A Poem

I have loved Tom Petty since high school; his voice is just so unique. One of my favorite Tom Petty songs is The Waiting. The chorus of this song is:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

It is so true that waiting is hard. Patience is not part of human nature; it is a fruit of the Spirit.

And yet wait we must.

The Waiting

Waiting for answers
to heartfelt prayers
is hard, almost impossible
yet wait we must

Waiting on God
to heal and to bless
faith makes it possible
then the waiting finally ends

Sometimes it seems
the waiting is forever
but looking back we see
answers and blessings

Grace, faith, patience
fruit of the Spirit
remind us that God
has perfect timing

Waiting for answers
to heartfelt prayers
is hard, but not impossible
as wait we must

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Trust – A Rondelet

I missed another Form For All at dVerse Poets Pub while I was taking a blogging break, but the great thing about blogs is you can always read older posts, and so I didn’t really miss the lesson at all. I missed getting to link my poem to that particular post’s Mr. Linky, but I can still try the new form I learned. This time it’s the rondelet and the lesson was offered by Tony Maude. A rondelet is a 7-line poem with lines 1, 3, and 7 being a repeated refrain, much like my favorite triolet. Expanding on the theme of my essay earlier this week I decided to write a poem in this form about trust. I modified the third repetition of the refrain just slightly, but otherwise tried to keep true to the form.

Trust

Can trust be found
midst deceitful everyday men?
Can trust be found
in the people I see around?
But if I choose to trust again,
suffer hurt, I’ll trust God and then
trust can be found.

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Choosing to Trust

I’ve been thinking about trust lately. It has been said that trust must be earned, and that once lost it is hard to regain. But it occurs to me that trust is a choice, and that sometimes we must choose to trust even when it isn’t earned.

I decided to check The Quotable Lewis to see what C.S. Lewis had to say on the subject of trust and I found this little gem:

To love involves trusting the beloved beyond the evidence, even against much evidence. No man is our friend who believes in our good intentions only when they are proved. No man is our friend who will not be very slow to accept evidence against them. Such confidence, between one man and another, is in fact almost universally praised as a moral beauty, nor blamed as a logical error. And the suspicious man is blamed for a meanness of character, not admired for the excellence of his logic.
C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night, “On Obstinacy in Belief” (1955), p. 26.

It seems that Lewis agrees with my thought that trust is a choice. (I always love it when I discover that Lewis and I agree on something.)

We choose to trust God in spite of the lack of absolute proof that He exists and is on our side. In the face of tragedy and the existence of evil in this world, we choose to trust God to have our greater good as His chief aim. We choose to trust “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV). We trust God because we believe that He is inherently trustworthy.

But to live we must trust others as well. There would be no basis for a civilized society without some degree of trust. Such trust can be difficult because experience and scripture often tell us that humans are inherently untrustworthy. The prophet Jeremiah observed that, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV).

In spite of evidence of untrustworthiness all around us, we must trust someone. So we also choose to trust our spouse, our family, and our close friends; we choose to trust those we love, because as Lewis says, “love involves trusting.” Sometimes we encounter evidence that suggests even our closest beloved family and friends are untrustworthy—not surprising, since they are human. It is then that we face the real choice: to continue to trust or to give up on love.

It occurs to me that this is the point at which we must really examine the situation with a critical eye—not critical of others, but critical of our own hearts. If we can honestly say that we have always been trustworthy ourselves, perhaps we can justifiably decide to give up on love and choose to no longer trust. But I suspect that none of us can honestly reach that conclusion. To do so in and of itself is evidence of our own untrustworthiness. As the apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 (NIV). If we think we are inherently more trustworthy than our loved ones, we deceive ourselves.

One thing we can be sure of, though, is that we do not deceive God for He alone fully knows our untrustworthiness. “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV).

This day you and I must choose. Will we trust God, who is unequaled in His trustworthiness? If we do, then we are free to choose to also trust our loved ones because we know that God is in control and will bless our choice with His grace and love.

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Before the Throne – A Poem

This morning as I was listening to music on my iPod the song Trust in Jesus came on and I started to think about standing before God’s judgment throne. Paul confirmed what is written all throughout the Old Testament, that everyone, even Christians, will face God’s judgment.

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:11-12 (NIV).

It occurred to me that as much as I appreciate what Jesus has done for me now, it will only be as I face the judgment throne of God that I will be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of His grace. Just as Solomon did, “I thought in my heart, ‘God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.’” Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV). Perhaps it is to fulfill His promise to bring us great joy and blessing that God will reveal, at the end of our days, how much He truly loves us. Only by revealing our great need for His redemption can He make us understand.

Before the Throne

I stand before the throne of God
He opens His book to my list of sins
His messenger begins to read
my transgressions, one by one

In my mind I begin to prepare
my defense, my justification for each sin
I think I am ready to answer
to show that I deserve mercy

The list goes on and on and on
Will it ever end?
My justifications begin to fade
My heart grows weak with shame

How can I stand before His throne
the judgment throne of the Almighty
I tremble in fear of His wrath, His righteous judgment
I know it will destroy me, I cannot stand

I fall to my knees before His throne

I bow my head knowing His judgment is true
Realizing I have no defense
I have broken every commandment, every law
without a single justification

Suddenly before the throne
between me and God’s final judgment
Stands the One who came to save me
His mercy and grace pour over me

I remember with great joy
that while I was yet a sinner
He loved me, He redeemed my soul
I trusted in Him and He is faithful to forgive

Before the throne of judgment and grace
I lift my voice in praise and adoration
Finally understanding completely
What His great love has accomplished

1/8/13: Shared this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.

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In Whom Can We Trust?

Trust is a fragile thing in relationships. One can make a conscious decision to love another, but I believe it is much harder, if not impossible, to decide to trust them. In comparing the synonyms trust, assurance, and confidence, Dictionary.com says: “Trust implies instinctive unquestioning belief in and reliance upon something.” When trust has been broken, instinct kicks in to expect more of the same.

At the core of trust is honesty. When we are not honest with others, then we will break their trust. Once broken, trust is very difficult to repair.

Trust is a beautiful crystal glass that holds the aromatic wine of a relationship. Broken trust is that crystal glass shattered on a marble floor. We can pick up the pieces and try to put them back together, but the shards will cut us in the process. The only hope is to find a new glass; renewed trust.

But there is One we can always trust, and that is God. We may not always like what God does, but He is always true to His Word. He is the Truth incarnate and can be taken at His word. This the Psalmists knew well, and they made it a recurring theme of the Psalms. Here are just a few examples:

Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10 (NIV).

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalm 13:5 (NIV).

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
Psalm 19:7 (NIV).

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7 (NIV).

In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
Psalm 22:4-5 (NIV).

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7 (NIV).

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV).

As humans, we long to trust in others, to find those on whom we can rely. But scripture tells us that the only One we can truly place our trust in is God:

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
Psalm 118:8-9 (NIV).

Sometimes that means we must trust that God is in control even as we struggle with the broken trust of our human relationships. And when we trust in God, we know that He can renew trust that has been broken beyond repair.

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A Lesson from Joseph

In church today we heard probably the most important lesson in all of Christianity. It is also the most important lesson in all of humanity. It is the lesson of forgiveness.

Our scripture reading for the day was Genesis 50:15-21:

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father. ” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. ” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

When you consider all that Joseph endured all because his brothers were jealous of him and sold him as a slave to a passing group of Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt, he certainly had good reason to hold a grudge. If anyone had good reason to pay back the wrong that had been done to him, it was Joseph.

But he didn’t. Instead he forgave his brothers. He looked at the bigger picture and saw that although they had intended him harm, God had used what they did to accomplish a greater good.

If Joseph had stayed in Canaan as the favored son of his father Jacob, there would have been no one in Egypt to interpret Pharaoh’s dream of the coming famine. There would have been no one to put into place the plan of storing away enough food during the seven years of plenty to survive the seven years of famine. Not only the people of Egypt, but also those of all the surrounding nations, would have suffered great loss during the drought.

Often it is difficult for us to see the big picture when someone hurts us, to see how God could possibly use what another intends to harm us and turn it to good. It is difficult to forgive, especially when it is clear that the person who has wronged us intended to harm us.

But as our pastor pointed out this morning, scripture doesn’t give us an out. Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV).

This seems like a harsh and unfair command. But our Heavenly Father requires us to forgive because He knows that the poison of anger and unforgiveness will kill our soul just as cyanide will surely kill our body.

If we desire to live, to truly live, then we must forgive. We must trust that God will use whatever comes our way for the greater good. We may not enjoy the benefit of seeing that good, as Joseph did, but still we must have faith that forgiveness is the better path.

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Manna for the Day

When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, God provided them with food called manna. The word “manna” is a Hebrew word that literally means “what is it?” The Israelites didn’t know what it was, but they discovered that it was nutritious and filling. They were instructed to gather only as much manna as they needed for each day, except the day before the Sabbath when they were to gather enough for two days. They discovered that if they gathered any extra it would spoil. See Exodus 16 (NIV).

Gathering only as much as was needed was a definite test in trusting God to provide. Because He is faithful and trustworthy, God always came through and there was always enough manna.

This past year of blogging, I have discovered that trusting God for what to write is kind of like trusting Him to provide manna in the desert. There have been times when I thought I would write ahead, spend a Saturday writing for the following week. Occasionally this worked when I really wasn’t going to have time to write the following week, like before we headed off to vacation. But other times I just couldn’t seem to think of anything to write ahead.

Last week, for example, while I was off work for the week before Christmas I was going to write this whole week’s worth of blog posts so I didn’t have to do any writing this final week of the year. But for some reason I just couldn’t get it done. I was left to trust God to provide something to write. So far He has come through, and knowing how faithful and trustworthy He is I know He will provide for the remainder of the week.

This is just one of many lessons in trust that we can learn from the story of the manna God provided in the desert. We all go through desert times. We all have times when it seems we can barely get through each day as we wander in seek of the promised land. It is during these times that we must trust in God to provide. I’ve discovered for myself that He always does.

But the Israelites didn’t wander in the desert wilderness forever. Eventually they reached the promised land, which was flowing with milk and honey and an abundance of good foods. Although they still were called to trust God, it was more of a “big picture” trust and not a daily food thing.

I think it is the same for us. Sometimes God takes us through wilderness experiences so we learn to trust daily for some basic and distinct need. He uses these times of intense trusting to teach us about big picture trust so that we will not forget Him when we emerge from the wilderness into the promised land.

We must always remember to trust God in and for all things. As James reminded us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV). Whether we are in the desert wilderness or the promised land, our faithful and trustworthy God will provide for what we need.

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Trusting in the Midst of Chaos

I heard a new-to-me Sanctus Real song at the Casting Crowns concert on Friday night that really touched me. It is from their 2008 CD titled We Need Each Other. The name of the song is “Whatever You’re Doing (Something Heavenly)” and I found the official Sanctus Real video on YouTube:

I bought their 3-CD Anthology at the concert, and it includes this CD. I have listened to this song over and over, pondering what it means for me.

I’ve experienced a lot of healing in my life thanks to my dear Jesus. But I’ve come to realize lately that there is more to be done. I have felt lately that God is doing something inside of me; He is trying to tell me it is time for complete healing.

Whatever He is doing it does feel a bit like chaos inside of me, quite a bit actually. Some days I don’t like it and I find it hard to surrender. But beneath and through it all there is a peace I can’t explain. I trust completely that He knows what He’s doing, even if I don’t understand. As thoughts and emotions swirl seemingly out of control sometimes, I do know that He is in control and that what He is doing is something heavenly.

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