Thursday, March 13, 2014

What a Warrior in a Wine Cave Would Tell You

 
It was easier last week. Easier when the screen displayed five or six options, to breathe in blithely and say that we were trusting God for our new home.

It's always easier to feel relaxed in trusting God when the cars in the driveway start, when the bank accounts have wider margins between the credit and the debit boxes, or when the houses For Sale line up nicely into the categories we like.

Once the For Sale signs start lowering, and the pretty homes with the open layouts disappear, I'm required to really stand up and figure out what I'm holding on to. Am I trusting God for our next home only when the weekly emails state that there are eight or nine feasible options?

And that is the real question, isn't it? Glib answers crash quickly when the easy options fall off the table. If my stance of peaceful trust is only secure on clear blue days with no hint of storms, then my peace is less about Him, and more about me. My sense of self-sufficiency, my bank accounts, my cars that start... In other words, it's about life looking easy anyway.

The real test, the real test comes when it doesn't look like I can do it on my own, when there are only three houses on the list with enough bedrooms for us, and time shows that they seem to disappear quickly.

"But, where's the challenge in that, Jen?" he whispers to me. And I'm reminded of a warrior's cave musings from the Bible book of Judges. Among vintage wines, oozing grapes, and purple puddles on the ground, God approached a young Jewish warrior, hiding in a wine-press cave. Describing to the man the battles he was about to wield and win with God's help, God affirmed one key truth.

"You are going to know that I was the One who did this, not you, and not your nation. It's by my power that you're going to win these skirmishes."

In fact, God whittled down Gideon's fledgling army to a mere 300 men against 135,000 enemies. Statistically, calculates my husband, this meant that every one Jewish warrior would have to fight 450 men on his own, and survive to battle on. Not very good odds.

But our Warrior God, who loves to write thrilling stories into world history, loved that these odds would point to only one conclusion: God had done this himself. This wasn't the work of any Spartan-esque army. This was God showing off.

"Where's the trust, Jen, if it looks easy? What trust is needed if your options lie wide open? Trust me now, as the email screen of available houses shrinks, and your papers are tied up in City Hall meetings, and spring approaches. Do you trust me now?"

And this God-- who has walked us through cancer-scares on our little girl when she was five years old, and who found us this home, and who has always taken care of us --watches me, cocks an eyebrow, and asks, "Will you trust me now? Want to really up the stakes?"

What about you? Where do you say you are trusting God, but it has really just been because it's been easy to do on your own? In your marriage, with your dreams and future, in your finances, or with your kids? Our God loves us, and enjoys building our faith in him. Is he cocking an eyebrow at you too today?

(Photo Credit to Steve Snodgrass, Creative Commons, Cc license)

...Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose.


12 comments:

Denise said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, praying for you to find a home soon. I am trusting God with my marriage, and health. Be blessed.

Alecia Simersky said...

Love the odds, and with God they are ALWAYS in your favor! I did the Gideon study with Priscilla Shirer last year. It was so eye opening. I realized, really, whom shall I fear?? Can't wait to see which home God brings you!!

Floyd said...

So true. It's easy to trust when the sun is shining. But when the darkness comes and our senses can't find any way out, we have only to trust. It's the worst place to be... but mostly the very best place to be. To be reminded that in the end it is His good will and sovereign hand we rely on...

We tend to begin to worship the provision instead of the Provider.

I look forward to the best plan He has for you and your family!

T.J. Ellis said...

I too am learning that trust id God's ongoing desire for us. In theory it sounds easy, but Praise be unto to God it is He that enables our trust! You are moving or looking to?

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thank you, Denise, for prayers for our next home. May God do amazing things in your marriage and health this year. He is an amazingly redemptive God, huh?

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Alecia, for stopping in, and for joining us in prayer. Yes, watching him work those odds for his people in love is exciting,huh?

Have a great week,
Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Floyd,

"But mostly the very best place to be" --yes, I like that.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

TJ,

I like your line there: "Trust is God's ongoing desire for us" -- that's good. :)

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Bill (cycleguy) said...

IMHO real trust comes in the tough times. Our maybe I should say our trust is proven in the tough times. Gonna have to agree with Floyd's comment.

cabinart said...

Jennifer, it seems as if each time you trust God and he comes through, you get another chance for him to prove it wasn't a fluke, that it is how he operates - always coming through in situations that are just too stinkin' hard for us!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Bill,

"Our trust is proven in the hard times" -- yeah, probably. That's convicting to me right now. I am thankful that God is patient and tender and grows me through those times too.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Jana/Cabinart,

I love your line here: "you get another chance for him to prove it wasn't a fluke, that it is how he operates - always coming through in situations that are just too stinkin' hard for us!" So true.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com