Friday, August 05, 2005

Trusting in the Dark

Last Sunday in our Baseball Chapel services I challenged the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers about what it really means to trust God. I'll share my outline in a later post but an experience I had tonight made an illustration I used last Sunday even more vivid and real.

In my Men's Devotional Bible (NIV) there are numerous devotional thoughts written by well-known men of God scattered throughout its pages. There's an excellent one by Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of
Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, IL. This particular thought appears within the text of Proverbs chapter 3. Perhaps two of the best known verses in scripture are Proverbs 3:5,6 where we read, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

Hybels tells of a game that kids used to play at summer camp. Someone would be blindfolded and would have to depend on verbal directions from another camper to get where they needed to go. For many it would be hard to resist ripping off that blindfold if you didn't trust the one who was giving directions. Some kids would trust implicitly, never fearing that their camp mates would lead them astray. Others would shuffle along, slowly placing one foot in front of the other for fear that they might stumble into something or fall into the lake.

Aren't we just like those campers when it comes to trusting the Father? He has asked us to trust Him with all our hearts and yet we stumble along as if He isn't even there. He has not left us in the dark but has promised to direct our paths.

Tonight we were at
Elim Lodge and my son Nathan asked me to take his hand, close my eyes and he would lead me somewhere. Of course his brother Matthew had concocted this plan to take me to The Snackery without me knowing where I was headed. Once they got me there they would ask for some money so they could buy a treat. As I closed my eyes and walked hesitatingly (is that a word?) I wanted to take a peek in case Nathan led me too close to an overhanging branch where my 6' 5" frame would smash into the tree. I indicated my lack of trust and Nathan shot back, "if you can't trust your own son, who can you trust?" Great words from an 8 year old! It sure felt good to finally open my The Snackery of course!

The Good Shepherd always leads His people aright. Even the black sheep of the flock is led safely into the fold. Why are we so quick to fear and doubt and so hesitant to trust? As we entrust our wellbeing to the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, surely goodness and mercy will accompany us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in His house forever.

So...I will trust and not be afraid. (a loose translation of Isaiah 12:2)

How about you? Are you really trusting Him? Something to think about.

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