“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God” John 14:1
For some reason when I clean, I clean fast. No slow and methodical wiping of the rag or scrubbing of the dish for me.
So, yesterday I snatched up the trash bag with an upwards yank, dropped it on the floor, tied it up in record time and dashed out the front door, hopped down the front steps, tossed open the trash can lid, plopped the trash bag in, released the lid so it crashed down and kept on walking in one nearly unbroken stride.
Unbroken, that is, until I stepped down on what I thought was solid ground, but was really a sink hole courtesy of our friendly front yard mole. My ankle twisted in an unexpected direction. I felt the wince of pain as I almost hit the ground.
Now, fortunately, it was just a momentary shock of pain. In a few seconds I was limping down the driveway for the mail. A minute later I was back to the sport of Extreme Cleaning with no long-term damages.
But life in its way is no less unexpected and sometimes no less shockingly painful.
It can be as simple as the surprise pitfalls in a single day. Like the fact that my house was passably clean when we awoke this morning. Then my three daughters painted beautiful artwork, and each other, and the chairs, the table, the carpet, their clothes. After an unplanned mid-morning bath, all of the paint flecked off their bodies onto the bathtub.
Surprise! Suddenly my day became a whole-house scrub-down and laundry marathon.
It can be as paralyzing as a life-changing twist. The phone call with bad news. The hack to your budget. The visit to the doctor. The sputter of a car. The removing of a wedding ring.
Somehow in the middle of this topsy-turvy, always uncertain, shake-up of a world, the Psalmist wrote:
“My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music” (Psalm 57:7, NIV).
So, how then, could his heart be steadfast? How could he be “firmly fixed in place, immovable, not subject to change, firm in belief” while running for his life from the powerful king of an enemy? (Merriam-Webster).
And what about us?
Those minor unexpected annoyances in my morning left me cranky and quick-to-snap.
Major upsets to my plans and life cost me a night of sleep.
Steadfast? Not me. Not hardly.
The trouble is that the steadiness of my belief seems utterly dependent on the ease of the path I trod.
It’s not dependent enough on Him, My God, My Firm Foundation, My Solid Rock.
Martha sank deep into an unexpected pit when Jesus didn’t heal her brother, Lazarus. Instead, she left the place of mourning over his death in order to confront Jesus about it privately. “’Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” (John 11:21).
Jesus knew just what to ask her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Luke 11:25-26).
Did she believe this? Did she believe that Jesus was more than a nice friend and successful religious teacher? Did she believe in Him was resurrection and life?
Could she put aside her emotions and declare that no matter how she felt, she could trust God?
Martha regained her footing on this shaky ground by stating her belief: “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:27).
Yesterday, I felt the familiar suffocation of fear at some unexpected news.
Today, I experienced the all-too-familiar bad attitude over some twists in my day.
And Jesus asks me, “What do you believe?”
He asks the same of you.
You may be tempted to spout off the Nicene Creed or fall back safely on the answers of a good Christian girl.
Really, though. Truly. Honestly.
What do you believe?
Shaky ground and a loss of footing are always signs of belief problems.
we’ve been putting our faith in ourselves, in others, in our circumstances.
we’re relying on our own plans.
we’re depending on our own strength.
we’ve bought into lies somewhere along the way.
As you catch your breath after a fall, steady yourself by reaffirming the truth.
I believe God loves me, always, unconditionally, fully.
I believe that God’s grace covers over all my sins.
I believe that I will never go through any circumstance alone; God will never leave me nor forsake me.
I believe that He can do anything, even more than I could ever imagine.
I believe that even when I see tragedy, God is working on my behalf and for my good.
I believe that God will be glorified in every situation.
I believe God will provide for my every need.
This is what we know is true, no matter what we may feel. Therefore, we can trust God.
Originally published as Twisted Ankle, Twisted Truth on 11/7/2011
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King