Daily Lent Devotional #11 (March 19, 2011)

Jeremiah 17: 5-8

5 This is what the LORD says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Trusting in God’s character and His goodwill towards us is absolutely essential for us to grow in faith and to become all that God wants us to be.  One of my favorite current authors is Mark Buchanan.  In two of his books (“Your God is Too Safe” and “The Holy Wild”) he spends a lot of time developing and exploring a very simple idea:  Until you rest in God, you will not be willing to risk for God.

John Eldredge also addresses this crucial need in many of his books.  Unless we believe that God is good and that His Plans for us are for our good, we will not follow Him out past the shallow edges of our faith.  Even though we might say that we trust in God and that God is good “all the time”; what we really believe about Him and His Heart will be revealed in our actions.

I’ll close today’s devotional with a great story from Henri Nouwen that illustrates the scary (but simple) nature of trust:

One day, I was sitting with Rodleigh, the leader of the [trapeze] troupe, in his caravan, talking about flying.

He said, “As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher, The public might think that I am the greatest star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.”

“How does it work?” I asked.

“The secret,” Rodleigh said, “is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything: when I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar.”

“You do nothing!” I said, surprised.

“Nothing,” Rodleigh repeated. “A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.”

When Rodleigh said this with so much conviction, the words of Jesus flashed through my mind: “Father into your hands I commend my Spirit.” Dying is trusting in the catcher…Remember that you are the beloved child of God. He will be there when you make your long jump. Don’t try to grab him; he will grab you. Just stretch out your arms and hands and trust, trust, trust.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 6:09 AM  Leave a Comment  
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