May 16 2021 | Authenticity & Goodness
I get extra grumpy in heavy traffic. Especially on the interstate, when cars are crawling and coming to a stop. I think I start to feel trapped, then I get anxious, and then that makes me angry. I feel completely out of control. There is no way out. I have to wait until the traffic ahead clears. I want a detour- a path that helps me avoid the agony and the wait! C’mon google maps give me something! Google map often answers with an alternate route- two minutes slower or faster-rarely- a large agony saving difference.
This is what I think I often want from trusting God- that he will give me a faster, alternative route when traffic gets heavy and life is hard. He “will make your paths straight.” But usually in these scenarios I am still leaning on my own understanding. I am thinking getting where I am going as fast as I can is the goal. Waiting is bad. Losing time, energy, and money is bad. I come with an agenda to these places in life where I have to stop and trust.
I need to hear the proverb’s warning, “be not wise in your own eyes”. My demand for a smooth and pain free life for me and the world is not wise. I was reminded of this when my 10 month old puppy went on crate rest for six weeks. She snapped her left radius in half and required a surgery with a plate and screws to repair it. I asked the vet desperately for tricks on how to keep this active creature “crated” happily. He was clear, “Oh she is not going to like it. It’s so hard for them. But it’s the only way to heal. If you let her out more than for the essentials, it will hurt her. Her bone will not heal straight or at all.” As I carry her in and out of her crate, and she looks at me with sad eyes I have to remind myself this is me loving her. This is the only way to wholeness.
I wonder if the Lord has to remind himself of that as He sees our tears or hears our longings and aches. He knows he is making us whole but he also knows it’s hard for us to understand. This is why he calls us to once again “fear” Him-be in awe of Him more than anything else. We must cultivate our hearts toward Him. We are inclined to worship so many other gods of comfort, peace, security, and pleasure. We must learn to trust Him- like I hope my pup trusts me as I take her in and out of her crate. I know what will make her whole- what will enable her to run again.
The Lord knows what will help us run again and enable us to flourish. We want to love well, and be authentic to who God has made us to be. Trusting Him and acknowledging Him in all things leads us more and more to become the kind of person whose outside life (relationships, behavior, etc) matches their inside (or spiritual) life. We trust Him for our day to day, but ultimately in the work Christ did as He lived, and died and rose again on our behalf. Read through the verses from proverbs below. He heals our brokenness- bones, flesh, and all- enabling us to turn from evil and praise Him in our days and for eternity.
Practically let’s do that together this Sunday through worship!
Jen Sanders, RPC Director of Care and Connection
 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)