I’m still reading this book. I can’t rush through it. I have to savor the words, the meanings… And English being my third language, I really enjoy getting to know some new ways to express things, feelings, circumstances… I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I’m now reading chapter 9 (out of 11).
But chapter 8 “How Will He Not Also?” talks about TRUST. My trust in God. Ann Voskamp asks this question on page 148: “Without trust in the good news of Jesus, without trust in the good news of God’s saving work even in this moment, without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all-sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe?”
And a few paragraphs down she answers with:
“If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief… atheism.”
Lately I had a few situations where I had to let go and trust God. Totally. Completely.
One of the situations was that my daughter got sick a few weeks ago. And being many thousand miles away did not help either. There was nothing I could do to ease her pain, or to help her in that situation. I had to trust the people she’s travelling with and the people she was staying with. But ultimately I had to trust God that He would provide for her, comfort her and ease her pain and restore her health. It was a VERY long week for both of us.
“Thanks is what builds trust.” (Ann Voskamp, page 150)
It helped a lot that my daughter got sick the week of the American Thanksgiving. Because I really learned to thank God in ALL circumstances. (I’ve wrote about it in this post.)
I’m thankful that God orchestrated even the timing of it. He does care about his children. He really does. And also reading this book about EUCHARISTEO = giving thanks in all circumstances. The timing on this could not have been better. And for the last few weeks I’ve deliberately started to give thanks. To practice eucharisteo daily.
“Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on… This living a lifestyle of intentional gratitude became an unintentional test in the trustworthiness of God – and in counting blessings I stumbled upon the way out of fear.”
This has been my exact experience as well. I did start to make a mental list of things I was thankful for that week my daughter was so sick. And you know what? The list became long, really long. And there were moments, yes it started with moments, but moments became hours, and hours became days, where I was able to stay “cool” and not loose it, because there was still so much to be thankful for. And the more I thanked God the more I trusted Him. That was a whole new discovery. And then I read:
“Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks. Remembering frames up gratitude. Gratitude lays out the planks of trust. I can walk the planks – from known to unknown – and know: He holds.”
And after that week was over, and my daughter was finally on the mend, I still kept thinking about “giving thanks in all circumstances”. There are other difficult circumstances in my life right now, that I don’t feel at liberty to discuss here on the blog, but even in those I seek to find things to be thankful about. “It could be so much worse” is one of the things that I keep telling myself. And when I meet women and see their burdens, a lot of mine shrink instantly. Some of us women carry a lot. And we try to juggle everything that comes our way. Even when our lives are shaken up, when we walk in darkness, we are never alone!
I’m ending this post with part of the paragraph that shook me up pretty well. Things I had not considered before. Ann Voskamp talks about the time when God told to Moses, “As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” (Exodus 33:22-23 New Living Translation)
“Is that it? When it gets dark, it’s only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with His hand? In the pitch, I feel like I’m falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.
Then we look back and see His back…
And I’ve an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God’s back in the rearview mirror.”
Happy reading, everyone!