Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Folly in Our “Faithful” Reliance on God

There are times in life when I believe I have everything under control. Having had harder trials and successfully making it through them, I possess the sort of confidence that when smaller issues arise, I tackle them with decisiveness and urgency. “I got this,” echoes through the corridors of my brain, and I swoop in solving problems like a boss.

Or do I?

I had a seemingly innocuous conversation with a colleague last week. At the time, I believed that I was sharing some much needed insight and connecting on a deep level. Then on the way home from that meeting, the Holy Spirit dropped a question into my soul: “Was that as helpful as you think it was?” I began to question each word I uttered. I started to analyze my body language like I had some mirrored images in my mind. I considered the end of the exchange and how maybe, just maybe, I had caused some harm. That uneasiness that balls up in the place between my chest and my stomach exploded, and I sunk into prayer. “Lord, I should have prayed before that conversation. I should have come to you first.”

That same colleague called yesterday while I was in a meeting. I called back, but she didn’t answer. I did pray, though, “Lord, guide this conversation, whatever it is.” When she returned the call, I listened. I shared how I and many like us are in the same boat, and I asked, “How can I help?” In getting to the root of needed support, I still made some mistakes because I wasn’t careful in my exchange. Another exploded ball of anxiety later, I am back in the same place, actually even worse this time. And I feel like crap because I know better. I had enough sense to ask God for His guidance, but I didn’t trust Him enough to wait on it. I let an old habit of moving into problem-solving mode get in the way of Him.

When my oldest daughter was two years old, she had a case of pneumonia so severe that she could have died. I rushed her to the hospital after hearing her unnatural breathing over the phone when I called to check in from work. For four days, I stayed at her beside in that hospital, never once leaving the room, trusting that God would bring her through. And He did.

Now, with these much smaller issues, I’m walking around like I have things all figured out, and I’m not leaning with my whole heart on God, and I am messing up big time.

Or am I?

As I contemplate my missteps, I am awed my God’s amazing grace and His magnificent mercy. I have to make some stuff right, no doubt, but I am going to humbly air my mistakes in their totality and work really hard at forgiving myself and avoiding those mistakes moving forward.

I am a firm believer, now more than ever, that acting like you didn’t do something wrong or even justifying a sin no matter how well-intentioned or palatable it may be is not pleasing to God. And when the Holy Spirit convicts me of wrongdoing, neglecting to acknowledge and atone for it makes things worse. I have to get right with God even if doing so means putting myself in uncomfortable situations here on earth. I want Him to be able to rely on me.

Trusting God cannot be a fleeting, situational exercise. It must be unconditional and all-consuming. Sure, it may take time for us to turn the tide, but each day, Friend, we should be working more and more to actively increase our levels of trust in the Lord. Radical faith in Him is my goal, and that necessarily means decreasing my own self-importance and self-assuredness to place my trust solely in Him. And no matter how apprehensive I am about the conversations I know I need to have (and will have) today to get back into alignment with Him, I am so grateful that He is still talking to me and that my soul is still seeking to hear His voice.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly…” (2 Chronicles 16: 9)



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One thought on “Folly in Our “Faithful” Reliance on God

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