You said it yourself, Rachel. Yesterday, while you were talking to a friend. She asked you the biggest thing you were learning and you told her the quote. You know which quote, Rachel?
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us. We are wondering just how painful that best will turn out to be.” – C.S. Lewis
And you told her that you didn’t understand those words when you were younger. They just didn’t make sense to you. But now, somewhere around ten years and a mountain of experiences later, now you are beginning to understand. You know that God will do the best for you. That is promised in Scripture, you have tasted His goodness in your life, and you know you can trust Him to do for you what He desires. You are wondering, however, just how hard and how painful His will is going to turn out to be. Because you have learned that anesthesia was never part of the promise. He does not desire you to feel pain, but neither does He remove it from your life.
You have felt enough of the hurt to be wary. To be slow to trust, to clench your fists in your pocket and only occasionally hold them out in front of you as open palms.
But perhaps you have also felt enough of the hurt to be weaned. To be carefully lifted out of your tiny world that is measured solely by how much discomfort something causes and to be placed into the much larger and richer world that is measured more by how much of Christ you taste in your experiences. Through every bruise you have felt, every cut, you have also felt the care of a God who never let you go.
And so here you are again, Rachel, not for the first time and not for the last, being called to trust God. Not to trust Him that life will be easy. Not to trust even necessarily that He will meet all of your needs, though that is true. And not to trust Him with the precondition that your life will take a certain expected form and shape. But to trust Him that He is enough, and to trust Him not because you are “supposed” to but because you truly believe He is that good. And because you know that the poverty of this life – the weakness and the loneliness and the exile that sometimes comes with following Christ – is worth the richness of the next.
You don’t know what God will call you to, Rachel. You do not know what He wants to do with you, how He wants to mold you, what He wants to use your life to do. But that is not the point. The point is to be able to see His beauty in a way where You trust Him for whatever will come. And whatever may be exactly what you imagine for yourself, or it may be something completely different. Either way, you want Christ to be your treasure – and if you have Him, you can follow wherever He leads.
At the moment, you have no idea how you will ever reach this point of trust. And you have learned that promising yourself and committing to things for the rest of your life is not always the best way to act. Instead of saying, “God I trust You forever,” maybe you can start with the simple, “I don’t know if I will always trust You, but for now, I do. For now, I believe You are enough. For now, I believe You are that good.” Tomorrow it may be different, but that does not nullify today’s faithfulness, and each day is a wrestling unto itself. There is a saying, Rachel, that says, “Do not borrow tomorrow’s troubles.” I think it also means, “Do not borrow tomorrow’s wrestling.” You wrestle with what God has placed before you today. Tomorrow is not even guaranteed. We take it one day at a time. That is all we know how to do.
One more thing to note, Rachel. You hear people say things like, “Pray that you will have a faith like Moses.” Or, “Pray that you will have integrity like Joseph.” Or, “Try to have the courage of Daniel.” There is even a song made completely out of those kinds of lyrics. But never once have you heard anyone say, “Pray that you will have a limp like Jacob.” But this is what you want, Rachel – of all the holy examples in Scripture, maybe this is the one most relevant to your life. Pray that you will have a limp like Jacob. Because when you limp, you lean on something. Lean on Christ. And as you limp your way into Heaven, you will know Christ because you will have clung to Him for every step. And He will know you – by the familiar gait of your walk, by the sound of your voice, by the shape of your tears, by the trust you have wrestled for and offered up to HIm. Rest in that. You will not just know Him. He will know you.