Friday, June 19, 2009

Trust in a Loving God's Wisdom and Care

"Therefore I say unto you,
'Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.'
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air:
for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying,
'What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, 'Wherewithal shall we be clothed?'
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
(Matthew 6:25-34)

After a busy week with company, I finally got a chance this morning to sit down and really review Pastor's message from Sunday. As I did, I realized how much I needed it. I am not poor, so I don't have to worry about what I'm going to eat for my next meal or what I will wear when my clothes start to tatter. But I do worry about other things. Since the last two or three months with so many young people dying, I've worried about how long I will have my friends and family around me. I worry about getting a job. I worry about whom I will marry. All sorts of things like that.

Then I noticed in verse 33, the word shall, or will. All these things will be added unto me... My Heavenly Father has promised to supply all my needs. He knows that I need and will supply it, BUT He wants me to realize first what should be my greatest priority:


In the flesh, I do worry about my future-- particularly whom I will marry, and how. But my Father wants me to seek HIM first, and be fully satisfied with Him alone, before I could ever deserve any young man who has a close walk with the Lord. No one-- not even my future husband, whoever he may be-- deserves that place of honour that God alone deserves. That is why now is the time for me to seek God's kingdom, to draw near to Him, and make Him my all-in-all. For all of my life I want Him to be my all-in-all. What a precious existence that would be! I'd never have to worry about anything, because I'd be so close to His heart that I'd just know He'd take care of me-- even if I didn't understand what was going on.

While I was reflecting on these things in my journal, a picture came in my mind that I felt sort of illustrated this thought. It dims in comparison to reality, definitely, but that is what pictures are for, isn't it? To reflect reality but not swallow it up? I was thinking about Bella Wilfer, one of the heroines in Charles Dickens' classic Our Mutual Friend. I was thinking about her beautiful and unwavering trust in her husband, John Rokesmith, the mysterious "mutual friend" of the story. Mr. Rokesmith has a huge secret that he has not told Bella, and, when the secret threatens to come to light, they have the following conversation:

"Don't you remember that you asked me not to declare what I thought of your higher qualities until you had been tried?" [said John.]

"Yes, John dear. And I fully meant it, and I fully mean it."

"The time will come, my darling-- I am no prophet, but I say so, -- when you will be tried. The time will come, I think, when you will undergo a trial through which you will never pass quite triumphantly for me, unless you can put perfect faith in me."

"Then you may be sure of me, John dear, for I can put perfect faith in you, and I do, and I always, always will."

And later in the story, when she discovers how he, at one point, was the mysterious man named Julius Hanford:

"And you don't ask me, my dear, why I bore that name?"

"No, John love. I should dearly like to know, of course;" (which her anxious face confirmed;) "but I wait until you can tell me of your own free will. You asked me if I could have perfect faith in you, and I said yes, and I meant it."

Eventually, John tells Bella his story, and she finally understands why he has done what he has done all that time.
I feel like John and Bella's marriage in this fiction tale is a picture of what a true marriage should be like-- a picture of Christ and His church. Even though circumstances are confusing and even scary, Bella chooses to trust her husband, knowing that he knows what is best for her and that, if he thinks she'd be better off to know, he will tell her.

Circumstances in life plumb don't make sense sometimes. But I need to be like Bella is towards John. I must trust that my "Husband" (Isaiah 54:5) knows what He is doing, knows what is best for me, and will let nothing harm me. When my life seems dark and frightening, I do not need to have all the answers, because my Jesus does. He is worthy of my trust and complete confidence, because He has never failed His bride and He never will, either. What a truly joyful life-- unquestioning faith and trust in my Husband-- Christ.

The above photo is Bella Wilfer and John Harmon/Rokesmith from the movie of Our Mutual Friend (BBC, 1998).


Teddy said...

Very good thoughts Melanie! And the illustration really helped me get a better grasp on the meaning of trust-it's a choice.

Anderson family said...

Wow, good post, Melanie!