Opportunities to Trust
Lately I’ve led the funerals of some precious ladies who were part of our country’s “Greatest Generation.” During the visitation times, I was blessed to look upon some photos of their lives which included their weddings, vacations, and portraits with children. I couldn’t help but long for those days gone by. Even though I didn’t live during the post-war era of our country, the late 1940’s and 50’s, there is always something that calls to me from those pictures and stirs within me a wish that I had lived during that time.
As I spoke about it with my wife, we acknowledged that it was not a sinless time in our country; there was still much evil manifesting itself in our nation, but there was a purer hope that seemed to be paired with the opportunity to honor and remember God in all things. I'm not saying that the previous generation always did so, but there was access in a way that is now intolerable to many people. Current pastor and author, Jarrid Wilson, takes the position that it was a time of great social-Christian acceptability. If you wanted to be a successful businessman, or an accepted family in society, you went to church and you professed to be a Christian. Wilson argues that it was during those times that the church started to fill with posers. I take his point but remain envious of those opportunities that once lined the overall landscape of our nation. That’s all I’m saying.
God is the God of opportunity. I long for more holy environments, more sacred settings outside of a church building. It may be my own shortcomings, but such environments seem more difficult to create. And yet, maybe the struggle to create them is a good thing. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says that “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” He longs to show His power, eager to demonstrate His might, if we but trust Him. The opportunities are still there, and God never stops seeking those whose desperation is only satisfied with Him. Am I daily taking the opportunity to be found by God, trusting Him?
The older I get the more I am convinced that it does not get any easier to trust God, follow Him, or discern His will for my life. If anything, it gets more difficult. Look at the lives of the kings of Israel and Judah we have recently studied. Even a cursory look at their reigns informs us of the reality that the older we get the more cynical and bitter, isolated and proud we can become. Make it your discipline to speak truth to your own soul. Take every opportunity to trust God through every circumstance. With David may we say to ourselves, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)