Trust trumps control
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
Over the past few years God has graciously offered me gifts of faith that have been wrapped in difficult packages. This has often looked like opportunities to trust Him and allow Him to be things for me I hadn’t allowed Him to be for me before, and it meant surrendering my control over my own circumstances.
A few years ago we left our church jobs, sold our house, and were moving overseas with our two teenage children because God asked us to trust Him and walk with Him into an unknown future. As we finished up our jobs we had six weeks in which we would essentially live homeless. I began to tackle this housing problem by praying and asking for God’s help. As I prayed, God said, “Don’t make reservations and don’t tell anyone you are in need. I will supply all your needs.”
We had already taken a giant leap of faith, so this felt like a huge stretch for me. I liked security. I liked knowing what the plan was and I was okay with doing this with my husband, but it pressed my buttons to essentially choose homelessness with two kids in tow. But, we were learning to hear and respond to God in obedience, and although I knew this was going to be challenging, we needed to obey.
I drove to my husband’s office and said, “You aren’t going to believe this, but I was praying today and God said we shouldn’t make plans for the last six weeks of our time here. And, we can’t tell anyone we need a place to stay because He wants to provide a place for us.” I was braced for my husband to be as shocked and dismayed by this new set of instructions, but he simply said, “Okay”. His capacity to trust God was obviously greater than mine.
After moving from our home and a short stay in Melbourne over Easter week, we found ourselves sitting in an apartment with 48 hours to go until we had nowhere to go. I began to feel anxious and God reminded me of a Graham Cooke quote, “God is always on time, but He passes up an awful lot of chances to be early.”
God then reminded me of Psalm 27: 13-14: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
I kept quietly trusting, but there were moments I wavered, so I meditated on these verses as I waited for God to do what He said He wanted to do; to be what He said He would be for our family. I clung to them like a kid with a blankie.
On our last night before we had nowhere to go, my kids were packing their suitcases and asked, “Where are we going tomorrow?” I said, “I can’t tell you yet, but I’ll tell you when I can.” Meanwhile, feelings of panic began, and I started to doubt if I had heard God correctly. A mental tug of war was taking place, doubt tugging one way, and trust and faith pulling the other. Those verses strengthened me when I felt my faith weakening. Late that night, my husband’s phone rang. It was a friend calling to see if we needed a place to stay for a few weeks because their sister was looking for someone to stay in her 4 bedroom home while she was away for a few weeks. Would we be interested?
My husband said, “…as a matter of fact we do need somewhere to stay for a few weeks.”
Off we went, triumphant in God’s provision and care for our family. It was Him saying to us, “If you trust me with your everything, I’ll be everything you need.”
We are still learning to trust God in new ways, to allow Him to be our Papa, to be transformed into the little children Jesus refers to in Matthew 18:3 “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.