I sometimes wonder if I expect too little from God. It seems easiest to trust God with things that are in the immaterial future. Don’t misunderstand; where we are going to spend eternity and with Whom are of paramount importance – but we’re all going to go somewhere, whatever else happens.

But what about things in our life right now? What about illness, or trusting God for success as we move forward in a life lived for Him, of what we eat or where we live (and I don’t define success by having the toys I want, but by receiving what I need)?

The prayer of Jabez was for God to “enlarge my tents” (1 Chron. 4:10) and from Psalm 81:10 God declares, “Open your mouth, and I will fill it”. The Psalms are in fact full of admonitions to wait, to trust God for practical effect in this life.

I am still 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”. (Psalm 27:13-14)

This theme is repeated again and again throughout the Bible.

This has tremendous implications for us. Can we really trust God in such daily matters? That we don’t see more examples of such radical trust is, I suspect, more an issue of not needing to in the modern welfare state. But attempts at true obedience do provide ample opportunity. When we try to love our enemies or the unlovable, when we choose to give thanks even in times of adversity, to keep vows we’d rather break, we come face to face with our own spiritual poverty  and our own deep need of His help.

And that is a very good place to be. It means I have nothing to be proud of, so it draws me away from myself and closer to God. He becomes a more present reality in our lives. Hebrews 4:16 comes to mind: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.

I don’t think we should stop seeing doctors when we are ill, nor should we quit our jobs and wait for God to drop provisions on our laps; He does expect us to live responsibly and we don’t want to presume on God. But never fear: we’ll hit the wall plenty of times regardless of what we do for ourselves. There will be plenty of opportunities to wait on God.


Advertisements