SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:13 (TM) – larger reading 1 Corinthians 13
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
James Brown shares this personal story: There is no situation I can get into that God cannot get me out. Some years ago when I was learning to fly, my instructor told me to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time the engine stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was not going to help me at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, my mind began to function again. I quickly corrected the situation.
Immediately I turned to the instructor and began to vent my fearful frustrations on him. He very calmly said to me, "There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again." At that moment God seemed to be saying to me, "Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I cannot get you out of. If you trust me, you will be all right."
Well, I don’t know about you, but Mr. Brown’s story parallels my life especially in the area of trust. Do we trust God steadily and without questioning his motives or purpose.
In nearly every situation it was revealed early on what God desired to see happen in the churches that I served. My “take charge” personality then took over. I set my shoulders to the task of making it happen that which God had designed. The results were not always great. Why?... because I didn’t wait for God to make it happen. All God had done earlier was to show me where he was going to take the church. My task was to trust him. In retrospect, at no time did God ask me to get it done or to complete the task. I was under the delusion that it was something that God wanted me to accomplish. WRONG!
This trust thing is hard. We are so caught up in the Protestant Work Ethic, especially in America, that we simply get all mixed up about what it means to really trust him. Aren’t we all a little “getter done” machines moving through life. We don’t trust the instructor. We want to “fly” our plane… and then we wonder why our life is in a steep decline… nothing seems to work.
One of the spiritual disciplines of Lent is to quietly wait on the Lord, to listen for his voice, and then to trust him as to where he is taking us.
Help me to listen. Help me to wait. Help me to trust.