Recently I’ve been very nervous, anxious, and conflicted because I can’t see the end of the roads I feel God is calling me down. I catch myself asking, “Where is this headed? Where are you taking me, God?” Right now it can feel like I’m holding a couple strands of thread in either hand and hoping that they’re all frayed ends connected back to one singular origin. I can’t see how they could possibly be woven together into one coherent, cohesive rope. Then to add to the confusion, my past keeps sneaking up on me and telling me God can’t tie up the loose ends. My enemy keeps whispering that God only has “this much” good for me – minimizing how great and loving He truly is.
I’m persisting in certain hope that God is not one to leave loose ends, well, loose. I’m persisting in certain hope that God is trustworthy. I’m persisting in the belief that though I can’t see all the moves God is making I can be like Lucy chasing Aslan around in Narnia.
“Laughing, though she didn’t know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind.” (Lewis, 179)
In this chase, I found George MacDonald’s words as a salve for my soul: “I find that the doing of the will of God leaves me no time to be disputing about His plans.” Maybe faith is about trusting God with the loose ends He’s entrusted to me today. Maybe faith is about knowing the character of God as one who gives us what we need for the moment so we might have what we need in the next one and all of the ones after that. Maybe faith isn’t about knowing God’s plan or the next step, but trusting He’s taking us there. Maybe faith is about what God is saying to us in this moment right here. Maybe faith is about teaching us that God has always been there preparing us for every good work He’s going to complete through us. Maybe faith is less about figuring out God’s plan for my life and more about trusting He has a good plan and the willingness and ability to carry it out in the first place. Maybe faith is about this moment and its worries and joys and celebration and gratitude, not about tomorrow, or the next day, or any day after that. Maybe this faith is just like how Lucy felt after her chase with Aslan: “And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay together panting in the sun the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.” She climbs onto Aslan’s back, trusting this dangerous and loving lion, and says this of her ride,
“That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. Have you ever had a gallop on a horse? Think of that; and then take away the heavy noise of the hoofs and the jingle of the bits and imagine instead the almost noiseless padding of the great paws. Then imagine instead of the black or gray or chestnut back of the horse the soft roughness of golden fur, and the mane flying back in the wind. And then imagine you are going about twice as fast as the fastest racehorse. But this is a mount that doesn’t need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating, threading his way with perfect skill between tree trunks, jumping over bush and briar and the smaller streams, wading the larger, swimming the largest of all. And you are riding not on a road not in a park not even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring, down solemn avenues of beech and across sunny glades of oak, through wild orchards of snow-white cherry trees, past roaring waterfalls and mossy rocks and echoing caverns, up windy slopes alight with gorse bushes, and across the shoulders of heathery mountains and along giddy ridges and down, down, down again into wild valleys and out into acres of blue flowers.” (Lewis, 180-181).
So I’m choosing today to climb onto the lion’s back with little knowledge of where He’s taking me, but trust that He is dangerous and loving and taking me on an adventure more awe-inspiring and beautiful than anything I could plan for myself. I’ll trust His word is true and cling loosely to the strands He’s entrusting to me, believing they weave together a beautiful piece of the Lord’s great tapestry of redemption.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)
Further Up & Further In,