Sunday, February 27

Becoming the Co-Pilot

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I have a really hard time sharing my weaknesses with other people. I guess it’s partly stubbornness and partly insecurity. Therefore, this post is a real challenge for me. It deals with what I would say is one of the biggest battles in my life, so it causes me to be very transparent. If I didn’t feel like God was behind me in this, I wouldn’t be doing it. But I do, so I am.

If there is one word that is hardest for me to comprehend and especially demonstrate, that is trust. Several circumstances in my life have caused me to have some huge trust issues. I know a lot of you know exactly what I mean. I think sometimes we can be too quick to trust, and then we’re hurt, and we build up a wall and never want to trust again. It’s a hard place to be because while we’re trying to protect ourselves, we’re hurting people we love. It can be really discouraging to people when they truly deserve your trust, and you’re not giving it them. Speaking from experience, I know I have really hurt Joshua a few times because all he wanted was my trust and I was too afraid to give it to him. We make excuses for ourselves. I specifically remember telling Joshua at least once, “I don’t know how to trust.” And while that may have been partially true, it wasn’t fair for me to just leave it at that. We justify and pacify ourselves. We set high, impossible-to-reach standards for people, and say, “I knew I couldn’t trust you,” when they don’t reach them. Distrust is destructive for us and for our relationships. 

To be honest with you, I still don’t feel like I’ve reached a level where I can sit here and write a blog about how to forget about your problems and just trust people. It doesn’t come that easy for me or anyone else. But what I do want to write about is trusting God. Just like distrust in a relationship with another human being is destructive, distrust within your relationship with God is destructive. As part of life here on Earth, we constantly face circumstances that give us opportunities to trust God. It’s inevitable. Right now I could name at least 4 situations I’m currently dealing with that are really forcing me to just put my trust in God and let Him deal with it. But I’m not saying it’s easy. 

Another thing about me is that I’m a pretty controlling person. While I’m the baby in my family, and I’m spoiled to the max, and always have someone there to take care of me, a lot of times I like to be in control (and that probably has a lot to do with my trust issues). For instance, if I’m hanging out with a group of friends and we’re all going somewhere, I have to drive. Have to. I just like to be in control. I’d rather do things myself the way I want them done. I like to know what’s going on all the time (in other words, I’m nosy). Last year for my birthday, Joshua took me to dinner but wouldn’t tell me where we were going. He made me close my eyes while he drove to the restaurant. I kept getting in trouble for peeking because it made me way too nervous to not know where I was or where we were going. It’s just part of my personality and who I am. But when I act this way with God, it doesn’t help me. In fact, it works against me. I don’t know what makes me think I’m bigger and better and can do things myself, but sometimes I get that mentality and it gets me nowhere. Eventually I give up and just let Him have it (and that’s always a very humbling experience). But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I think we waste so much time trying to handle life on our own. I follow the author Rick Warren on Twitter, and about a week ago he tweeted, “If you think God is your co-pilot, you’re in the wrong seat.” I read that, and all of a sudden it just clicked for me! God didn’t say, “Okay, here’s where we’re going. You just go ahead and drive, and I’ll be right here in the passenger seat if you need me.” He does exactly the opposite. He leads us on the journey, and we just get to follow Him! You might think that’s a little scary. I mean, I know I’ve been led astray before by people who said they knew where they were going and really didn’t. But the difference is that God knows exactly where He’s going. There’s no question about it (“What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it.” Psalm 18:30). So we get all the benefits, and all we have to do is trust He’s taking us where He knows we need to be. In Proverbs 16:20 it says, “It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in God.” Sometimes we may know where we’re going, and other times we may not. Either way, trust is crucial.

The act of trusting God is demonstrated countless times in the Bible. One in particular is the story of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges 7). I remember when I worked at kids’ camp a couple years ago, the speaker taught on this story. Gideon and the Israelites were going to have to fight against the Midianites, but God kept telling him he had too many men. God kept getting rid of the men until Gideon only had 300 men left to fight. Gideon was scared. He was scared of failure and defeat. But he trusted God and obeyed what God told him to do, and he defeated the Midianites. Proverbs 130:5 says, “I pray to God - my life a prayer - and wait for what he’ll say and do.” Also, in Proverbs 28:9 it says, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him.” These are such great reminders for us that even when we feel like nothing is happening, like our situation is at a stand-still, like God isn’t moving, we should continue to pray and listen for God’s voice. If we tell God we trust Him, and then give up on Him when He’s not taking care of things in a “timely manner,” we never trusted Him at all. “If you fall to pieces in crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.” Proverbs 24:10

No matter how bad it seems, God will never fail you. “Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have your back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” Zeph. 3:17

No matter how tough the circumstances, God can handle it. “First pay attention to me, then relax. Now you can take it easy - you’re in good hands.” Prov. 1:33

No matter how broken your heart, God is worthy and deserving of your trust. And even more, He’s worthy of your praise and worship. “God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.” Prov. 27:6

Trust is not something that will ever appear overnight. If your trust has ever been broken or challenged (which is probably almost everyone), it doesn’t just fix itself. You have to work at it. It takes complete surrender. You have to let go of every bad situation and every insecurity you have. This is something that I’m constantly working on. The wonderful thing about it is that God is always there, and He is always trustworthy. Allowing yourself to trust God with every single aspect of your life will change every single aspect of your life. 

“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” Psalm 18:20-24

Let God become the Pilot of your life. Trust Him with that title. You won’t regret it.

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