Trusting God

It was one November night. I had a long day at school. I was tired. And I got a Facebook message: “Can you help us?”

I put my school work down, grabbed my phone and a book, and hopped onto the streetcar to meet with a family in crisis. And I entered a story that truly broke my heart. And as I have watched it unfold, I have shed many tears and had sleepless nights thinking about the people involved and wondering where the heck God was in all of this mess.

As my heart continued to break and I became more entrenched in the story, people who love me kept telling me that I need to entrust this family to God.

What?

Sorry, but I know all to well what that can look like. There is a reflection in the Celtic Daily Prayer (Book 2) that I’ve been thinking a lot about as I feel like a whole community gets it.

Once you’ve heard a child cry out to heaven for help,
and go unanswered, nothing’s ever the same again.
Nothing. Even God changes.

But there is a healing hand at work
that cannot be deflected from its purpose.
I just can’t make sense of it, other than to cry.
Those tears are part of what it is to be a monk.

Out there, in the world, it can be very cold.
It seems to be about luck, good and bad,
and the distribution is absurd.

We have to be candles, burning between hope and despair,
faith and doubt, life and death, all the opposites.

William Brodrick

It’s true – once you’ve heard a child cry out to heaven for help and that cry go unanswered, nothing’s the same.

And yet I am to entrust the people I am called to serve to God?

In the past week, I’ve felt God saying to me that I need to learn to trust him, really trust him, with the people who I care about – trusting that he loves them more than I ever could. Knowing that he sees the big picture and I only see a glimpse. That he knows what is infinitely good for them – and for me – which is something that I’ll never be able to see with the limits of my finite mind. And that I need to learn this if I want any hope of serving in ministry without burning out.

And so, with fear and trembling, I’m doing things a bit differently this semester. I’m taking a full slate of courses. There are details to figure out. Like how I’m going to pay for them! But God has always provided so I’m not that worried. But there are five awesome courses on scripture, prayer, preaching, integration and evangelism.

And I’m pulling back a little bit from full time ministry. I’ll still be heavily involved. I just won’t be as obsessively involved as I was last term. I won’t have the time to constantly check up on people (when it was needed or not). I will have to learn to entrust them to God.

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