Friday, June 23, 2006

"Do You Trust Me?"

“Do You Trust Me?”

I hate it when someone asks the same question over and over and over again.
“Are we there yet?” “Did you take out the garbage?” “Do you like me?” “You’re not going to wear that shirt, are you?”

I hate it when someone asks the same question over and over and over again.
It usually means they aren’t listening or they don’t like the answer. “If I keep asking, maybe I’ll get a different one,” seems to be the thinking.
“What do you want for supper?” “I don’t know, you choose.”
“What do you want to do for supper?” “I don’t know, I said you choose.”
“Hey, what are we going to do for supper?” Sigh.

I hate it when someone asks the same question over and over and over again.

So you can imagine my surprise when the “someone” turned out to be God.
“Do you trust me?” “Lord, of course I trust You.”
“Do you trust me?” “Lord, I said I trust You.”
“Do you really trust me?” Sigh.

You get the idea. On and on it has gone for over a decade. That quiet, inner soul-voice keeps asking.

“Do you really trust me?”
“Okay, Lord, I’m getting the feeling You’re probing for something here.” I can be dense, but I eventually catch on. “Alright, Lord, it seems obviously must be some ways that I’m not trusting You. So, SHOW ME!” I try not to yell at God much, but He can get pret-t-t-ty frustrating.

So He showed me. All assortment of ways I need to trust Him more. In the early days of this saga I’d think, “Okay, God’s identified it. I’ll trust Him with this and we’ll be good to go.” Sometimes I’m dense, but I finally caught on. This question is not going to disappear. “Do you trust me?” is laser burned into our conversation. So I’ve taken to responding with, “Yes, Lord, I trust You. Show me how to trust You more.”

During one prayer conversation a picture popped into my mind… I was standing on a narrow bridge, very much like the Indiana Jones movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” as Indy attempts to cross the bridge over a deathly deep gorge. The bridge is narrow and camouflaged to look like the terrain below. Standing on that narrow piece of rock (with my fear of heights fully flourishing, mind you), I looked up to see Jesus saying, “Do you trust me?” Changes the flavor, don’t you think? “Yes, Lord.” Then a new wrinkle sprung to life as I heard, “Just keep in step with me.”

Pause the tape for a second. We find in Galatians 5:25 these words, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (NIV) I LOVE that scripture. Having been in high school marching band, I had always pictured Jesus at the head of the Christian band and we Christians marching in step with Him, being sure to look to the side to match strides with the Holy Spirit. So when I heard, “keep in step” that is the image that came to mind.

Restart the tape. I expected Jesus to turn His back so I could keep in step. Instead, He continued to face me, holding out both hands for me to grasp. Locking eyes with me, He took a backward step, clearly inviting me to take a step forward. “Trust me,” He seemed to say without speaking. It wasn’t long before I looked down, down, down, down, waaaay down, to the treacherous bottom of the crevasse. As soon as I did, I heard, “No! Do not look down.” I knew better before my eyes dropped and I half expected the correction to my deep fear. But then came the unexpected, “Just keep looking into my eyes. Keep in step and keep looking into my eyes and I will guide you across.”

I confess, saltwater seeped past my clenched eyelids as God spoke so clearly in the depths of my soul. Nothing audible, but absolutely unmistakable. I was overwhelmed by God’s message, the love behind it and the assurance He promised. That picture has changed how I see that scripture and how I hear that persistent question, “Do you trust Me?” No longer is it a disconnected COMMAND by a drill sergeant, but rather an INVITATION to walk through anything and everything this life throws at me. In the middle of danger, confident, strong, bold, focused, resolute, courageous.

I still hate it when someone asks me the same question over and over and over again. So don’t even think about it. Except when that someone is spelled SOMEONE and reminds me to grasp His hands, keep looking into His eyes and keep in step with Him.

Boldly, Herb

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