Tag Archives: trust

When God Does Nothing

We’ve been having a cold snap at the moment. (After all, it is winter.) Days are quite pleasant, around 15 degrees C but nights tend to be much colder, at about 4 degrees. We’ve had our gas fire on some evenings and we’ve put our fluffy blanket on the bed.

On Fridays I often take my grandson to Cubs. He was ready in his uniform when I came to collect him at 4.50pm last Friday. In the car he told me with pride how he had been made a sixer (a leader of a small group) the previous week.

I dropped him outside the Scout hall grounds and watched as he ran to sign in, sanitise and have his temperature checked. It was only then that I realised that he hadn’t brought his jacket. The evening was going to cool down and, although I knew they would probably be playing some active run-around games, I thought he would probably get cold. I determined to quickly drive home and fetch his jacket but on the way home I had second thoughts.

How embarrassing might it be for this new little leader to have his Granny interrupt his Cub meeting by bringing him a jacket? If he got cold, he might remember next time to bring something warm to wear. He might learn to take more responsibility for himself.

So I did nothing. It wasn’t easy. I worried. I couldn’t wait for him to get home so I could find out how he had coped.

“How was Cubs?” I asked.

“Great! I got to do the flag.” His face lit up with excitement.

Nobody talked about cold.

Sometimes God does nothing. We wonder why He is not helping us in a difficult situation. Is it possible He trusts us to cope using the skills He has gifted to us? Is there some area of growth He knows we need? Sometimes a little bit of discomfort can teach us things we might not easily learn otherwise.

When Lazarus got sick and his sisters sent an urgent message to Jesus, He did nothing for two days. At first glance this seems very unfeeling. Lazarus died and both Mary and Martha pointed out to Jesus that if He had been there, their brother would not have died. Jesus had a greater plan. Mary and Martha got such a faith boost when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. (John 11: 1-44)

Jesus had just fed five thousand men, plus women and children. “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side… Later that night, he was there alone and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” (Matthew 14 :22, 23b,24.)

Jesus knew about the storm. He knew the disciples would battle but He sent them out into the storm anyway. Again, Jesus had a greater plan. If the disciples had not had to face the storm, they would not have witnessed Jesus walk on the water and Peter would never had stepped out of the boat to walk on the water towards his Lord. How much their faith grew in that one night!

When God does nothing we usually don’t understand. Our best action is to trust. Trust in the love of God. Trust in His wisdom and overall plan for our lives. It is not easy. But God know exactly what He is doing.

My Prayer

Father God, I don’t understand when You don’t answer my prayers the way I think I need. Please teach me to trust You in every circumstance of my life – even when things are uncomfortable for me. Help me to grow in the areas where You are stretching me and to learn the things You are trying to teach me. Amen.

Wishes and dreams

This post is part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan. I didn’t get down to posting yesterday. I was having too much fun on my day of rest.

Today’s word is “wish.”

At the beginning of this year I thought very carefully about what I would wish for 2021. Was it that my little party business would take off? Was it for the Corona Virus to go away? Was it for my thirty-three-year-old son to come back to South Africa, meet a nice Christian girl and settle down?

In the end, it was none of those things. The deepest desire of my heart for the year was to grow closer to Jesus and that He would become more and more real to me in everyday life.

Psalm 37 reads,

Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.” (verses 3-5 NIV)

So, if wishes are the desires of our hearts, then it seems like wishes can come true. But, as we’ve learned from fairy tales like Linda’s, there are conditions.

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

My Prayer

Father God, please teach me to trust You and delight in You. Amen.

What do you do?

What do you do when Jesus sends you out in a boat to face a storm while He disappears up a mountain? (Matthew 14:21-25)

Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay

You trim the sails, row furiously, bail water and trust.

This post is part of One-Liner Wednesday.

Travelling Light

Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” (Luke 9:3 NIV)

He wanted them to travel light.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I picture Jesus taking me on a long hike. “What shall I bring?” I say.

“Nothing. Just trust me,” He says.

That’s just scary. No hiking stick, no spare clothes, no food. What about a water bottle?

I used to lead a Girl Guide company. The Girl Guide motto is Be Prepared. It would be unthinkable to go on a hike without making preparations and being prepared. Trusting Jesus is no easy matter. It is certainly against all we’ve been taught. We feel we need to be in control. I would be inclined to ask Him for a map so I can see where we are compared to where we intend to go. But Jesus won’t give me one. All He asks is my trust and that I will stay close to Him, following where He leads.

In this Covid season we are in at the moment, everybody feels insecure. Matters have been taken out of our hands. Our well-prepared plans have been summarily cancelled and we have no idea what the future holds. With my mind I know God is in control but I still feel unsettled.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, it’s been a long time since I asked You to come into my life and take over. I am so inclined to try to wrest control back from You. Please forgive me and teach me to trust You and rest in Your love. Amen.

Heart and Will

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I made a decision to trust in the Lord and not lean on my own understanding with regards to booking plane tickets to New Zealand at the best price.

That was a decision of my will. Sometimes it’s harder to do nothing than to do something. I’d like to report that I trusted the Lord with my whole heart, but if that was the case, why was there this constant knot in my gut. I was vigilant. First thing in the morning I would check my emails, concentrating on the promotions. I checked again at lunch time and again before I went to bed.

Once Australia Day had passed with no special, I thought Valentine’s Day would be a good option. When that passed, I held out for Leap Day on 29th Feb.

On Friday I told the Lord I didn’t know how much longer I could keep this up and confessed my lack of wholehearted trust. My Psalm for the day was Psalm 102 and I felt inspired to substitute Zion for my name. So it read:- “But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Jenny, for it is time to show favor to her; The appointed time has come.” (vs 12-13) and “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” (vs 18. both from NIV)

On Sunday (yesterday) I had a Whats App message from my son waiting for me when I woke up. He had sent a link to a special as part of the Travel Expo, and suggested we pull the trigger and book. The price was less than the special in January by about R4 000. This answer to prayer did not come from the airline I was expecting it to. Isn’t that often the way. I think the Lord delights in surprising us with the unexpected.

So now we have our tickets and are really going. I am so excited! The Lord has blessed me, not because of anything I have done (even my trust was wonky,) but because of His Grace. Thank You Lord.

My husband and I went out for lunch to celebrate.

dav

A Change in Focus

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:5 NIV)

My biggest challenge in photography is to get my focus right. In the following picture, the focus is not sharp on the bird’s eyes but at least the bird is more in-focus than the background trees! A change in focus can totally change a photo.

Sometimes in life, we also need to change our focus. We can either focus on the Lord, or our own understanding. Our own understanding comes naturally. It is common sense.

This is an area where I am struggling at the moment. Our family in New Zealand offered to pay for us to visit them at the end of the year, subject to our being able to procure the two-for-one fare we were able to get two years ago. It is offered once a year for 12 hours only and last year it was available on the 24th January. We prayed about it and decided that getting the two-for-one fare would be our sign of the Lord’s green light. Up until this moment, there is no sign of the special, although there is a sale until the end of January where we can save about R 3 500 per ticket, but the price is still R7 000 above the cost of a two-for- one special.

My own understanding, conventional wisdom, screams out, “Buy the tickets now, do it now, quickly before they all run out! After all, a bird in the hand … and all that.”

However, after a lot of discussion and agonizing, we have decided not to settle for second best, but rather trust the Lord to provide the best, and from our side, to do everything in our power to keep an eye on the internet and not miss the offer. Please pray for me. I’m fine now, but it’s still January and we can always change our minds, but how will I cope on the first of February? Do I trust the Lord with all my heart?

This post is part of JusJoJan

Worry, worry, worry, worry

“Why worry, worry, worry, worry, when you can pray,” ended the old Sunday school song.

Paul put it more maturely, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7 NIV.)

Notice what Paul does not say. He does not say all your requests will be granted. Rather, he says you will have peace. Is peace the opposite of anxiety?

Jesus also had something to say about anxiety and worry. In Matthew 6:31-33 he says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Seeking God’s kingdom is no light thing. It means putting yourself under God’s kingship, letting Him reign in your life. As I have discovered from my attempts to be a servant, it is not easy and it does not come naturally.  Jesus emphasizes that God is our Father and he knows what we need.

When I was a little girl, sometimes on a journey home at night in our little car, one of my parents would say, “I think we are lost.” Being lost is a terrifying thing for a child, yet my brother and I didn’t worry. We knew Mom and Dad would find the way. We just went to sleep in the car. I think that is how our Father would like us to trust Him. Sure, bumps come along in life and sometimes we seem lost. But our Father has enough power, wisdom and love to get us home safely. So let’s not worry, worry, worry, worry when we can pray.

sleeping girl