I fly a lot and, at this point in my career, I’ve done so in just about every kind of weather condition you could think of. Rain, sleet, snow, etc. To me, one of the most notable things about flying is that once you get above the clouds, it’s all the same. It is considered unsafe to fly below the “minimum safe altitude” due to the presence of terrain and/or obstacles. But once above, it’s bright, it’s beautiful and consistently so. What’s going on below has no bearing on the conditions above. As long as an experienced pilot is at the wheel, you can feel free to sleep, relax, read, etc. Then before you know it, you’ve reached your destination. I imagine that trusting God creates a scenario much like this.
Ground living is trying to navigate life’s challenges without God. By design, each journey is riddled with obstacles we are powerless to overcome in our own strength. We weren’t fashioned for a comfortable existence down here. Our designated resting place is above the fray. Without God, we are relegated to a life of stagnancy and eventual death. We have grave need for a divine Rescuer. His death on the cross opened up the “sky” and made a view from the top possible. When we choose God, we are victorious by association. A relationship with Him is the aircraft…trust in Him is the fuel.
In several places where the word “trust” appears in the Amplified Bible, it is replaced by “lean on, rely on and hope confidently in.” Lean on: To depend on or rest against something for support. Rely on: To rally to or to fall back on. Hope confidently in: To expect/look forward with full assurance and belief that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Wherever you see “trust” the verb, God is the subject.
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.”
The lens through which you choose to filter your understanding makes all the difference between spiritual obscurity and clarity. Our own understanding is inherently marred by sin and destined to fail us. Conversely, God’s understanding is rooted in infinite wisdom (Psalm 147:5). Tozer writes:
“Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to guess or conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision.”
This is God’s management style. He has all answers and knows all things. Accordingly, He is never surprised…never informed by anyone other than Himself. He is most powerful to execute His perfect plans. A solid, time-tested and proven God…To know Him is to trust Him.
When friends or family advise me to “trust God,” I know that it’s the best advice ever. But in my mind I’m like, “there has to be a less encroaching way to go about this.” It’s not that God isn’t trustworthy. It’s that I’m selfish and I want what I want on my own terms. Trusting God means relinquishing my life to Him while simultaneously being sure of its safekeeping, well-being and fulfillment. For me, the hardest part is maintaining a healthy level of faith in the absence of periodic progress reports. I often mistake quiet times for inactivity. But in truth, nothing I give God hangs in the balance. To trust Him is to secure space in His portfolio. His goodness, precision and perfection are implicit in the work He does and characteristic of the way He does it. When He is done, the pages will speak volumes of who He is to all who look upon them.
I hardly ever limit my resolutions to the New Year, but I made one this year: Lord, I want to trust You more. I want to consistently experience the peace and rest that accompanies wholehearted reliance on You and the pursuit of Your way. My need for You is and will always be great, but I’m so thankful that Your ability and desire to fulfill it is greater. As I prepare for “takeoff,” help me to loosen my grip on what I can’t control and cling tightly to You, the One who controls all.