June 28, 2016

Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

One of the most important things David got right was the matter of exercising his will in obedience to God. He understood that life is a matter of choices, and though he made some pretty bad ones, he still made the fundamental choice to trust and rely on God. When we waver on that point we invite mountains of misery that God neither intends nor desires for us. Fear is the devil’s favorite tool, and the only sure defense is trusting God. Two people can go through essentially the same circumstances and one have an absolutely miserable time and the other simply grow, emotionally and spiritually. The difference is in the choice to trust God and let Him be Lord. As long as we think we are supposed to be in control, frustration and fear are the order of the day. When we acknowledge both how weak we are and how loving and powerful God is, both frustration and fear are dealt with. Fear is easily understood, since it is a primary emotion, but frustration, though familiar, is a little less easy to pin down. It comes essentially from things not being the way we feel they ought to be, and the antidote is letting God be God and not trying to do His job for Him. It’s amazing how often we try to do that! However, our failure there is a foregone conclusion, and all we get out of it is frustration. Choosing to trust God is the answer, whatever the question.

This is a lesson I have been amazingly slow to learn. I’ve never been a particularly fearful person, but frustration has been all too familiar. God has been remarkably patient and faithful in giving me lesson after lesson to teach me to trust Him and and let Him be Lord, but my GPA isn’t very good! It was a major breakthrough when I finally realized that it isn’t a matter of God being smarter than I am, it’s that He’s smart and I’m not. That helped a whole lot! He has blessed me with a high IQ, but that’s only a measure of comparison with other human beings. Compared to God, the relevant Japanese expression is, “Acorns comparing height.” It takes fairly sensitive equipment to detect much difference between acorns! Whether I happen to know the right answer to a situation or not is irrelevant. The problem is in insisting that things be my way instead of seeking God’s way. I have always thought the song, My Way, that was written for Frank Sinatra and so accurately described his life, was one of the most pathetic songs I had ever heard. However, it has a very nice tune, and is popular around the world. I still want to write a Christian variation on it, saying, “I’ll do it Thy way.” However many times he missed it, that was David’s desire, and it is mine.

Father, thank You again for Your patience and faithfulness toward me. Thank You for being God. Thank You for telling me to rest, relax, and rejoice. Help me be obedient in that, so that all of the devil’s schemes may fall flat and all of Your plans be fulfilled on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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