A restoration story: Part 3

March 14, 2007 at 9:41 pm 1 comment

 Scroll down to read parts 1&2.

Part 3-Loss and learning to trust.

For the last 12+ years I have found it hard to trust God.  Today I am able to understand, as never before, that because I was afraid to receive the unconditional love of my Father, that put me in a position of not being able to trust Him either.  When we cannot believe that the Father loves us unconditionally and without any reservations, we will find it very difficult to put our trust in Him.

A lack of trust can show up in any number of ways, but for me, my lack of trust was often seen in my unwillingness to surrender control.  I obsessed about all kinds of things, from the details of some event to the contents of every message I preached.  While I tried to allow others to participate in the daily operation of the ministry it was very hard for me to surrender control of even some of the smallest details. 

Why was it so hard for me to trust?  The answer lies in loss.

The last day of 1994 our youngest son, Paul Scott was killed while hiking in the Olympic Mountains with his older brother Brad and a friend.  His death had a chilling effect on my ability to trust the Father.  All of my theological education and Bible knowledge were no match for the questions that swirled around me.  Did He know what was going to happen and simply stood by and watched him fall?  Did He not know what was going to happen and so wasn’t around to do anything about it?  Did He choose to let him die for some higher purpose?  Was He powerless to stop a young boy’s fall?  What about our service for Him, did that not make any difference?  Why did some young people survive accidents that were much worse without a scratch and a simple slip on a wet slope cost Paul his life?   

If you have experienced loss like this then you know the kinds of questions that erode trust in an omnipotent and omniscient God.

That event and the years that have followed have been a journey to recover and reestablish a trust relationship in Abba.  It has not been easy or complete.  There have been moments of clarity and growth followed by months of darkness and sliding back. 

During the last 18 months, away from living a life of being “God’s answer guy”  (that is the way pastors often feel) and away from the pressure of speaking “for” God, my Father has been showing Himself to be trustworthy in ways that I would never have seen otherwise (more on that tomorrow).

God has revealed to me how trust is rooted in His uncondtional and unreserved love for me.

In his marvelously enciteful book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning writes: Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic.  When the shadow of Jesus’ cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, depression, the loss of a loved one; when we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own pain; when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place-at those times we may cry out in anguish, “How could a loving God permit this to happen?”  At such moments the seeds of distrust are sown.  It requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.

What my Father has taught me during these years and months of experiencing most of the things Brennan mentions in the above quote, is that when I rest in my Abba’s love then trusting Him does not seem so hard.  But when I forget the measure of His love for me as seen in Jesus, I begin to waver and my trust is weakened.

I do not know which of those losses, catalogued above, are your losses.  There are many more possibilities that could be yours and I know how it hurts to lose like that.  But even more importantly I know our Father knows what it is to lose like that and for that reason I know I can trust Him.  So can you.

Tomorrow: Part 4-rejection and trust.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Jesus, Thoughts.

A restoration story: Part 2 A restoration story: Part 4

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. tovorinok  |  July 4, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Hello

    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!

    G’night

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