Trust or Control

In that moment, any moment, is an opportunity to choose. Trust or Control.

Today, on our way to my allergy shots we were following a car that had license plates that read PSALM 40

1I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD.
4Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—

11LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
12For troubles surround me—
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.
13Please, LORD, rescue me!
Come quickly, LORD, and help me.
14May those who try to destroy me
be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
be turned back in disgrace.
15Let them be horrified by their shame,
for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16But may all who search for you
be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”
17As for me, since I am poor and needy,
let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
O my God, do not delay.

Later, in the waiting room, after receiving my shots Amy read this to me:
“I want a stronger conviction that, though God welcomes my honest
efforts, He manages quite fine without my Peter-like outburst of ill-
dashed conceived enthusiasm and then sudden loss of nerve, my opinion swapping and bully tactics, my reckless volunteerism to fix things for God and then desperate evacuation when things go wrong.” pg. 153, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath, Mark Buchanan

How accurate is this? When perplexed, confused, waiting, wondering, hoping, I panic and try to take control. Instead, what is necessary eludes me. “Oh, the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” it is not a one-time joy even as it is not a one-time trust(ing). It is an ongoing and persistant trust(ing). And in those moments, every single moment that trust is engaged, “oh, the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” Trust and joy, a matched pair when God is there.

So why does it elude me? This joy? Why, in so many of those gift-rich moments am I so quick to cry out with my own Jeff-like “outbursts of ill-dashed conceived enthusiasm?”

From the relentless resistance of a few at the Church to concern about Jon and Kyla, Matt and Kacie, Abbey, Alli…first move…try to talk my way to a solution, to a fix, toward an answer. Mostly into a corner where the joys elude me.

Because I haven’t trusted.

In God.

His providence. His provision. His fix.

In that moment. In the car. Not expecting. Bitching and moning. Talking with Amy the same tired old conversation about the situation, the challenge, the disappointment…God interrupts. He initiates.

Not in a controlling way. Graciously giving the gift of His Word on a Wisconsin License plate. “Psalm 40”

“Oh the joys of those who trust in the Lord.”

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  • Elsa Gumm

    You’re not alone in the “trust or control” struggle, brother! Hugs and prayers.