When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
– Corrie Ten Boom –
Help me trust you.
I DO trust you. But I also fear you, dear Lord. I, silly child, fear that this one thing will be kept back from me. One incredibly good thing, scooted away from the table’s edge out of the reach of my grasping fingers.
But You do not withhold any good thing from me, do You?
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11, NKJV
I was praying this last week, struggling with fear. Fear that my plans would go awry and all my carefully-constructed life would go tumbling off into uncertainty.
I’m not sure this has ever happened so vividly before, but as I was praying–nearly crying–over my fear, this verse popped into my head. “No good thing will He withhold…” I suddenly thought. The words were immediate and forceful. Not a voice, but a sudden assurance.
It took me by surprise. What a good God we have! Not a moment after I confessed my fears, He allowed this perfect verse to jump into my mind.
I was immediately both calmed and convicted. A moment before, I had been almost panicking because I was not getting my way. Now, I breathed and realized something:
If something would be good for me today, God would have given it to me.
The fact that He held back this desire of mine doesn’t mean He is not good–instead, it means that what I wanted wasn’t the best thing for me right now. Maybe it will be good for me later. Or maybe it will never be a good thing for me.
How simple! And yet, my heart was so comforted by remembering the God is not a hard taskmaster scheming for my misery. How often do we picture Him that way, just waiting to squelch our dreams?
He is not like that at all! He is a loving, indulgent Father who delights to bring us joy…but He also delights to strengthen our character. Sometimes that means doing things that we don’t particularly understand or even like at the moment. But it will end up for our ultimate joy and good.
“My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing. But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask.”
– James 1:2-5, CEB –
That is my big struggle, how about you? To believe that “God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours” (John Piper). Because, honestly?
They just feel like plain ol’ delays and detours. And dead ends, sometimes, too.
But I believe they are so much more than that. Today, I chose to smile at that precious verse–that reminder that God will not withhold one single good and lovely thing from me. And I choose to trust that His definition of “good” is a lot more accurate than mine.
Take a deep breath. Isn’t that freeing? Today, God has given me every gift I need. Because He is so good.
“Outside of the will of God, there is nothing I want, and in the will of God, there is nothing I fear.”
– A.W. Tozer –