Last week I was scheduled to speak at hospital devotions. This is a time once a month when the whole hospital staff gets together - it's entirely optional, usually starts with worship and then a few announcements followed by a speaker.
I had replied to the email a week previously asking for volunteers to speak with a 'sure, put me down whenever no one else wants to do it' - not because I believe I have something to say but rather because I believe God does and I trust him to reveal it whenever it was my turn. Then the reply came - congrats, next week! oh dear. Do I still trust when I have a few days to prepare as opposed to a couple of months?
Well, they were set for Tuesday morning and so I had planned on several hours to seek and discern and listen on Monday night... which was completely hijacked with other obligations and work stuff and people and the entire day left me flustered and irritated...
But the thing was I already knew what I was supposed to share. I had been given two words and a passage of scripture and I knew it... I just didn't like it. So I ignored it. And pleaded for words, ideas, stories, and eventually excuses as to why I couldn't do it. And then my day got busier and my thoughts more scattered and panic began to set in as I started to worry about what people would think or that expectations were high and I would just disappoint everyone... oh dear, friends, it was a mess.
But God is gracious and loving and meets us in the mess. And the question was raised, the still small whisper of my heart - do you trust me?
Yes, of course.
Do you really? Because you can't just trust me halfway. You either trust me or you don't. You either trust that I have given you the words, that I haven't brought you here to abandon you, that I do speak, that you do hear and know my voice, that this day is not a coincidence, that your words matter, that I work all things for good, that my word never returns void.... You either trust all that, or you don't. And if you don't, you have no business getting up and speaking from the front. But if you do... then just get on with it!
The end of that story is then I said yes and got on with it and went to bed and everything was fine in the morning... but the end of my story is still being decided, like some kind of grand cosmic choose your own adventure novel where the choices of today can effect eternity and God is continually asking that persistent question of do you trust me?
Do I? It's a critical question, one that requires a response. And not halfway, either - there's no sometimes or mostly or when it's comfortable. Either I trust all of it or I don't. Black or white. Yes or no.
With a sigh of relief, or a torrent of tears, or a joyous laughter...