I love my morning coffee. It is just about my favorite thing. Many times I go to bed at night thinking of how I can’t wait to wake up to my morning cup. When I go away I need to know where the best local coffee shop is and I look at the reviews online. When I plan a vacation I envision where I will be sipping that cup of joe. I am overly attached to my coffee. I put low fat half and half in it and that’s it. No sugar and no sweetened creamers. Since this is the delight of my day, I have an obsession with always checking to make sure I have my half and half on hand. When I see only one container in my fridge I start to panic. What if I can’t get to the store for some reason and I run out of my one container supply? I need to have at least two in there to feel comfortable. Three or four makes me feel extra secure. I can’t imagine walking sleepily to my coffee machine, brewing my cup, and having no creamy delight to pour into it. That would be terrible. Yes, I know. I am weird. There are just not many things that I splurge on. I like enjoying this.
This past week I knew I was working my way through my half and half supply. I had two containers left and one had just drops in it. I mumbled to myself as I pulled it out of the fridge that I must get more this weekend when I went food shopping. Good thing I had that one last half and half in there. I added the few drops to my cup and went to reach for the last container. To my horror, it felt almost empty. I realized that all week I thought that container was full and it was actually just about gone. All week I was secure in the knowledge that I had a reserve on hand.
Since I started blogging, I see the mundane things in life and I hear that little voice in my head saying “that’s a blog”. I say it over the silliest things. Like half and half. Let me explain how I thought about my lack of half and half as an important topic. For the past few months I have been having conversations with people about what the pandemic has done to their faith. Over and over I hear “I thought I had trust. Before the pandemic I would say that I really trusted God. Now I am not so sure.”
What does trust mean to you? I realize that it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. I started asking other people what it means to them. If I had to sum up what trust means for me in one line it would be not being afraid. Whatever comes, good or bad, I can know that God will walk with me through it. If He heals me or doesn’t heal me, I know He will carry me and strengthen me. The outcome may not be what I want. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t trust Him. That to me is what total trust looks like.
I asked my dad what trust meant for him. I told him that if I asked 10,000 people I don’t think anyone would give me his answer. He said trust for him meant not living for time but living for eternity. I thought about what that means to me. In everything we do, we have our eyes on the prize. We are running the race now with eternity in mind. We are not building up treasures here on earth but in heaven. How different we live when we do that. I asked my husband what trust meant for him. He said that it meant not wanting to be in control. Ah control. My old friend. I love control. But I know it is an illusion. I crave it because I think I know what is best for me and what I need. Sometimes I feel like giving control to God is risky. I only relinquish control to the one I trust with my life.
So a pandemic happens. I see sickness and death. I stare at my sick parents through a window with tears in my eyes questioning God if I will ever see them again face to face. I go to my reserve of trust. I pick it up and realize it was not as full as I thought. I thought it was full. But really it was filled with distraction, busyness, a small savings account, and other things that don’t matter for eternity. It was not full of what it should have been - trust in an eternal God.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
It is so easy to say that we will trust God when this or that happens. We will run the race once things get easier. We will run once we overcome a certain obstacle or get freedom in something. What we are facing now IS THE RACE. The obstacle you are dealing with is the race. Some things come in and weigh us down. They take us out of the race. Those are things like:
Fear of man
Burden of guilt and failures
Living for now
Distrust in God
They hinder us. We sit on the sideline staring at the other runners. Yes we are in a pandemic. Yes there is sickness, death, hurt, loss. Run. Run for your life. Fix your eyes on Jesus as you run. Don’t wait to trust God once you come out of this on the other side. Don’t let the weights make you someone who watches. Ask Him to help you trust Him as you run and don’t let go of that until your trust is full and overflowing. Keep asking. Talk about it. Pursue it. Your trust will grow.
Like my dad says, sometimes we want the prize but we don’t want to run. The race seems scary and risky. But if I run it with heaven in mind it changes what I do. It changes what I pursue. It changes my priorities. I am asking the Lord to fill my container of trust more and more every day. I am running the race now. Today I am racing with God beside me and my fridge stocked with half and half.
What does trust mean to you?