Training Wheels of Trust
Training Wheels of Trust
by Lonnie Lane
God has been speaking to me about trusting Him. Then again, when is He not? The topic is always high on His agenda. I’ve heard from others who say the Lord is impressing upon them a need for a deeper trust in Him. The times we live in seem to tell us it is wise to learn a deeper level of trust now. So what does trusting God mean? Is it different than trusting “in” God? How does it work out in our every day life? Learning to trust Him in the day-to-day prepares us to trust Him more when tough trials come. So I’m practicing trusting Him more deeply now. Call it ‘tribulation training.’ Just in case. It includes learning to “be still and know that (He) is God” in the simplest of tasks and events. When the press is on, this kind of “being still” inside because of your trust in God results in a sweet peacefulness. Perhaps this is “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11) since righteousness comes as a result of trust. Example: “Abraham believed (trusted) God and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3,9).
This process has made me realize I have been using adrenalin when I don’t’ have to. I can turn it off and just do the same thing in the same amount of time, but with less stress on my body when I’m just resting in God. Say you’re in a hurry. So you pump adrenalin through your body to accomplish whatever it is you need to do. You don’t plan to; it happens. But if you make the switch to trusting God inside, you can turn off the rush of adrenalin and down shift into resting in God, asking for His help, and you can still be as (or more) efficient and get it done without wearing yourself out physically or emotionally. There’s Lonnie’s tip for well-being for this week.
You start with training wheels while your Father in heaven keeps His hand on you as your learn.
The goal is to remain poised and quiet in my spirit regardless of what is going on. That’s not to say that verses don’t help, they do. Memorizing verses such as, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov.3:5), or “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:4,5) are valuable for reminding us that trusting God isn’t always logical to our minds or understanding, or that it takes committing to Him to trust in Him. We may memorize the verses expecting to pull them out when we need them. But what about when you really are in a crunch and you really do need Him? Is reciting the verse enough, or do you have to really put the weight of your faith into it to see if your faith in God will hold you up? Practicing trusting Him today to me seems like training wheels preparing me for the big ride. One day I may need to stay balanced despite the terrain, or recover when something is suddenly in my path that threatens me. To be able to have the stamina to ride up the mountain path to get where I need to, or when gravity threatens to pull me into a valley, or to keep from wiping out. Training wheels begin to teach me to keep moving when I want to quit, when I don’t feel adequate or feel threatened. You start with training wheels while your Father in heaven keeps His hand on you as your learn.
I had an opportunity to try out my ‘truster’ recently. Okay, it wasn’t a life threatening situation but it was a significant one for me and one in which I had to choose (note importance of the word “choose”) to trust God or succumb to a sense of failure. In retrospect, it was a comedy of errors, but God will use what He has to in order to teach us what He wants us to learn. Especially when you tell Him you want to learn whatever He wants to teach you, even when you don’t know that is. (There’s a prayer suggestion. It makes life with God an adventure all the time.) And He does have a sense of humor. Here’s what happened.
I was going to fly to Texas to spend a few days with my brother and sister-in-law. My daughter was going to drive me to the airport. But when I realized she would have to pick me up at 6:00 a.m. to get to the airport the required hour earlier than my flight, I decided to let her off the hook and to brave it, drive myself and park in one of those Park n’ Fly places on the approach to the airport. This alone was a minor challenge since I’d never done this before, but hey, I told myself, I can do this. I set my cell phone alarm to ring at 5:00 a.m. giving me plenty of time to finish packing and get ready. I decided to set my clock radio to go off at 6:00 a.m. to make sure I got myself out the door. However, what I didn’t realize was that I had not put the ringer back on my cell phone after church and it was still on silence. I never heard it when it went off at 5:00. I didn’t know this, of course, until my clock radio began to sing to me and woke me up an hour later, the time when I should have left.
I jumped out of bed, deciding to forgo the shower, threw on some clothes and stuffed the last of my things into my carryon bag and out the door I went. I was congratulating myself as I hummed along toward the airport, asking the Lord to please help me choose the right parking lot, when I suddenly realized that I had gone south on I-95 when I should have gone north. I was now 20 minutes in the wrong direction, away from the airport which was now 45 minutes away. The time was now 6:35 a.m. I was supposed to arrive at the airport at 7 a.m. to begin check in for an 8 a.m. flight. OMG! (that’s “Oh my gosh” incidentally). I began to panic. I tell myself I’m going to miss the plane…There’s no way I can make it in time…How can I possibly get there and park and….?….How could I do such a thing?… I better let my brother know before he leaves to take the 2 ? hour drive to Dallas to pick me up. That’s when I realized I forgot to bring my cell phone, you know, the one that was still silently sitting on my night table at home.
My level of panic grew to include frustration and some anger at myself for …. well, you know. How dumb can you be, right? There was no way to make it to the airport now and get there on time. Another series of thoughts rapidly tripped through my head: Cancel the trip and just go home so I could call my brother…Go to the airport and try and get a later flight and figure out how to get my brother’s cell phone number from a family member once I was at the airport where I can make a few calls from a pay phone…Oh, this is terrible…What if he already left for Dallas…. This was not good.
When it looks impossible, God is the God of impossibilities. When your tempted to panic and don’t know what to do, He does.
But then, I remembered God. I love the expression, “But, God….” I decided at that moment I was going to make this a “but God” opportunity. I decided I would put my trust in the Lord and see what happened. I decided this was an act of my will, not an emotional one because my emotions were not yet in sync with this decision that I would put my trust in God and whatever happened, happened but I would not insult my God by plummeting into despair and unbelief. I would choose to have faith that He, Who said “He (would) not leave us or forsake us” (1 Kings 8:57) meant it included situations such as this one. Hadn’t Yeshua said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20)? I figured this was part of “always” so I told the Lord, “Heneni, Lord. Here I am. You know the situation. I refuse to do anything but put my trust in You. I’m asking you to somehow get me to the airport in time to make that flight. Lord, may I suggest that maybe you could translate me there?” I looked to see if I was suddenly moving at celestial time, or was suddenly there. I wasn’t. I was still just driving along as usual.
I continued to praise Him. “Lord, I’m just going to praise You and thank You for whatever You’re going to make of this, whether I get there on time or not. I thank You that you“make all things to work out for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purposes’”(Romans 8:28) and since that would be me, I’m looking to You to work out Your purposes in this whole thing.” I began to sing and thank the Lord for how good He is to me. I tell you, I began having the best time as I got off the southbound and headed down the northbound I-95 highway, speeding along, now toward the airport instead of away from it. I was watching the clock, though, while reminding both the Lord and myself that King David had said, “my times are in Your hand” (Ps. 31:!5). Perhaps David had a similar situation. But I was determined I was going to remain in rest and peace about this and let God work it out however He did. I now not only had His peace, but I had an excitement inside to see what God would do and whether I got to Texas that day or at all, I was totally enjoying God, Who, I had the distinct feeling, was enjoying me enjoying Him, especially under these circumstances.
I was still singing when I pulled up to the USA Park n’ Fly lot and told the guy at the gate I was trying to make an 8 a.m. flight. Time now: 7:20 a.m. Somehow I had made really good time getting there. Must have been God. However, I was supposed to have been there twenty minutes earlier. “Got it!” said the man at the gate, sounding like he’d been through this on numerous occasions, and before I got out of my car which I had to park in section EE, there was a van waiting to high-tail me to the airport. I arrived at 7:29. As it happened, I had neglected to print out a boarding pass so I had to go to the airline ticket desk, but unlike any other time I’ve been there, there was not one person in line so I could go right up to the desk. “Am I going to make this flight? ” I asked the attendant. “Depends on security,” she said. Okay, next hurdle security. But first I had to get there. I hoisted my overnight bag, which is more like a quilted 4 days worth of stuff bag, over my shoulder and as quickly as my lungs would enable me I made the journey to the security area which, as it turned out, was quite a distance away in the terminal.
Once there, there were lines. Lots of long snakey lines of people, the kind that would be a mile long if it was one long one instead of one defined by a multiple S-shaped zig-zaggy rope. There was probably a hundred people or so ahead of me. It’s now 7:36 a.m. I tap the person on the other side of the rope from me who is about 20 people ahead of me and ask, “Excuse me, I’m trying to make an 8 a.m. flight. If your flight later than that, can I go in front of you?” They smile and say, “Sure, go ahead.” I duck under the rope and now I’m twenty people further down the line. I continued to do that until I had ducked under all the ropes and was now in the front of the line. I got my ticket yellow lined and now it’s take off your shoes and show them your Advil, etc. in the little plastic bag time. 7:42. I dashed to the area at the last checking station where fewer people were and somehow got through that quickly. I jumped into my cool MBT sandals, clicked them shut, grabbed my bag and again hoisted it over my shoulder and headed for the gate. Wait. Which gate? I look at the ticket and discover I’m right at the gate I need to be at. I arrive to where they are just finishing boarding my flight. It is 7:54 a.m. Down the jetway and onto the plane, I sat down in my seat at 7:58 a.m. God had done an amazing thing, as far as I was concerned, one of miracle proportions. And I made it to Texas right on time.
But even more importantly, I learned from this that when it looks impossible, God is the God of impossibilities. When your tempted to panic and don’t know what to do, He does. When you forget your props (like your cell phone), He doesn’t need them. Put your trust in Him. I can’t tell you that reciting any verses really helped as much as having practiced resting in God and His goodness in the mundane things of life. It was more about my relationship with Him that came into play, than crises intervention. I trust Him, but this gave me a new depth of trust, a new arena of trust I hadn’t walked out before. One that left the consequences with Him and became more about me and Him than what happened.
Through Yeshua the captives are set free and those who are crushed by adversity or brokenhearted can be made whole again.
Today we hear of events such as natural disasters, financial crises, and personal losses that require people act out of their strengths and not their weaknesses. I don’t have to tell you we are barraged with reports and photo ops that serve to threaten our sense of well-being and peace. So I’m thinking some “tribulation training” that teaches us to ride out a storm or be still in the midst of one may be a wise thing to do right about now. I for one have pretty much opted out of the devil’s PR (public relations ploys). He’s got people in every walk of life, (prime being the media and the “entertainment” industry) rehearsing what he’s up to, what he’s going to be doing or has already done. BUT WHAT IS GOD DOING? Yes, things are crazy, politically and geologically (earthquakes, floods, to name a few). But where is our hope? We, of course, are not the only people to have ever been in pressing situations.
We put a lot of trust in the New Testament, but you cannot get a true picture of first century life from the Bible. It doesn’t tell you really about the depth of oppression the Hebrews suffered under the Romans, the restrictions and economic deprivation and taxation that caused many to loose their lands because they couldn’t pay the taxes. It gives us only the slightest hint of the conflict in the community, both socially and “politically.” Did you notice how many times Yeshua cast out “many” demons, besides healing the sick. They had no way to deal with all that before He came on the scene. No way at all. “Politically” some sided with the Romans and were “bought” by them, wanting only to have their approval in order to maintain their upper class societal position. There was basically no middle class. You either had it or you didn’t. The power – people allowed all kinds of immoral Hellenism to infiltrate Israel. Most others wanted Israel to return or remain as Torah observant Jews, but even then there were factions of what that would mean. So there was social unrest within the community. If you recall, Peter carried a knife as a member of the group that was ready at any moment to fight the Romans should the opportunity present itself. Yeshua gives us a hint of economic deprivation when he spoke in a parable of the woman who lost one coin and searched high and low for it. They could relate to that. One coin made a difference in whether you ate that day, or that week or not. Israel was in turmoil at that time.
But that was not the focus of the Gospels. Yeshua didn’t preach about all those issues. He wasn’t trying to fix what was happening “on the ground.” He was bringing an awareness that “the Kingdom of heaven was near, at hand” (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15) He mentioned a few of the issues in the parables as a way of showing them that the Kingdom of God is like….. what’s truly valuable, what is worth seeking, what gives you cause for rejoicing when you find it. He presented the Kingdom as The Alternative Reality, as the ways of God in the turbulent times of mankind that enables people to have a trust in God that lifts them out of fear. Fear of Rome or any political power. The Kingdom is higher and more powerful than anything that Rome could do to them. They saw through Yeshua that God provides food by multiplying it when needed. God turns water into wine, sicknesses are healed and people can be freed from demonic oppressions. Even the dead are raised back into life. Through Yeshua the captives are set free and those who are crushed by adversity or brokenhearted can be made whole again.
When Yeshua faced death willingly, through His love of mankind to bring them back to God, His resurrection lifted the fear of death from all who put their trust in Him. You can’t threaten people who have no fear of death . We see that lived out in the Acts of the Apostles. They had no more fear of the Sanhedrin or of Rome. No more fear of sickness or demons because in His name they could be healed. And because they knew God had forgiven them, they weren’t embroiled in bitterness or resentment that cripples body and spirit. The Kingdom had come to earth! And His followers implicitly and entirely trusted in the Lord regardless of what it cost them. They trusted “in” Him to keep them ever heaven bound, no matter what happened. There are stories of believers in supernatural peace in the face of great trials. Consider Daniel in a den of lions when God shut their mouths, but who “ate” the guards who were thrown in the same den moments after Daniel was released. And we have a “better covenant”(Hebrews 7:22; 8:6) than Daniel who was an Old Testament prophet. But he was wise and learned years before to put his trust in God.
When Peter preached his Pentecost/Shavuot message, he prophesied about Yeshua’s return saying, “He (God) may send Yeshua, the Messiah, appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:20,21). We are expecting Yeshua to return in our lifetime, aren’t we? Soon even, from the looks of things. Never have so many prophesies related to Israel, which is God’s time piece for knowing where we are on His prophetic calendar, been coming to fulfillment as now. And we also see “the restoration of…things” such as Israel in their land after 1900 years, and now the restoration of healing and power in the Gospel, things Peter would not have imagined would be lost. It is my expectation that God is bringing a revelation of Himself to His people that will enable us to trust and believe Him as the first century (Hebrew) believers did, so that our trust in Him supersedes anything the world has to offer or threatens us with.
I have found that trusting God and trusting “in” God, at least to me, are not the same thing exactly. I can trust God from afar, as an abstract or academic kind of knowing. But consider this: We who are His are “in” Him, but He is also “in” us. “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24). The primary commandments we’re to keep to abide in Him is to love and trust Him. God dwells in you. The very being of God in all of His qualities, strengths, wisdom and power lives in you. He is your enabler. He is what allows you to ride the waves and float in His Hands while turmoil goes on around you. All you have to do is believe and trust that what He says is true. When we do, this happens: “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16).
Can you see yourself “in Him” and ”Him in you”? Take some time to let those images sink deep into your spirit. In truth, there is nothing that is outside of the realm of trusting God, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). He’s invested His glory and excellence into you. We honor Him for investing in us by loving Him in return and trusting Him. We can start now to trust God, today, as a life style, as a way of life and in relationship with Him. The devil can never imitate peace that only comes from the Lord. Do your best and trust Him with the rest!
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2011.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.