I am sitting at home this soggy morning, and grateful to have nothing on my calendar today. It’s been sort of a crazy week and I’m quite content to just stare at the monochrome landscape, listen to the birds chirping, and know that spring never fails to come. We do not hope for spring like we hope our team wins a big game, we hope for spring knowing it always always shows up.
On Monday I got my husband’s car registration renewed. He had a license plate with his hospital on it, but Tennessee got rid of that as an option so he was going back to a regular license plate. For the regular plate, there are two options. The girl behind the counter asked, “Do you want it to say, ‘In God We Trust,’ or not?” I wish I would’ve asked how many people reject the “In God We Trust” plate. It sounds so simple, but in truth it’s life altering. Attaching the words “In God We Trust” to the back of your car does not reveal your heart, nor does it hold any special power, yet living a life of trusting God should be a primary goal.
Years ago I had a pastor, Lon Solomon, who said the Bible could be summarized in two words. The overarching theme of both the Old and New Testaments is God saying, “Trust Me.” And honestly, it’s true. Peter Kreeft makes a similar argument:
So when everything seems senseless and your faith is tested and God puts you on Job’s dung heap, there is nothing better than to look at the crucifix (which is much worse than a dung heap!) and say “Jesus, I trust you.”Before I Go: Letters to Our Children about What Really Matters
Our world seems so utterly senseless, so full of pain and sorrow. The abandonment of truth, the calling what is sin, good, and what is good, bad. It is so messed up. It is not going to be solved by a license plate, that’s for sure. Yet Kreeft rightly observed that the harder it is to say, “Jesus, I trust you,” the more precious those words become.
Can you say them? Can you acknowledge all that is painful in your life, all that you do not understand, and yet still utter these words: Jesus, I trust you. Because here’s the thing, you can fight against the goads but you’ll struggle and struggle and never be free. The paradox of Christianity is that we find freedom when we stop fighting. The freest among us are the most trusting. The freest among us don’t kick against the goads.
Spring is coming — that is our certain hope. But trusting Jesus is just as certain. A.W. Tozer said, “Everything that God does in His ransomed children has as its long-range purpose the final restoration of the divine image in human nature.”
Sometimes I hesitate to quote Romans 8:28, because it’s not always a comfort in the midst of deep pain, and I know so many who are deeply struggling right now. But the truth is we do know “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
Praying today that I’ll trust the long-range plan of my Lord and Savior, and that you will too. Kicking against the goads does not lead us to peace, but trusting His always restorative and often mysterious plan does.
Singing this simple chorus is a wonderful way to remind yourself of this important truth.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!