His Timing, His Answers, His Presence

by Kevin Burton

   So there’s this little card. Three inches by one inch. Had it all these years.

   There was a small stack of them at the checkout stand of a Christian bookstore in Columbus. I got my music or whatever and I got this little card on the way out.

   It has a cross at the top. Below that, it challenges me to do six things:

   “Trust in HIS timing, rely on HIS promises, wait for HIS answers, believe in HIS miracles, rejoice in HIS goodness, relax in HIS presence.”

   I’ve tried to throw this card away many times. The accumulation of stuff, even the good stuff, can bog you down.  But through more than a dozen moves, to different countries even, the card has stayed with me.

   Numbers one, three and six have resonated most with me during quarantine, “trust in HIS timing, wait for HIS answers, relax in HIS presence.” 

   Here and there, I’ve had a little trouble observing those. How about you?

   Trust, wait, relax.

   If we are serving the loving, sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful all-sufficient God of the universe, why would we not trust, wait and relax?

Not talking about being idle here. We have work to do as Christians. Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

   I think what this comes down to is control.  As Christians we happily surrender control of our eternal destiny to God. But when it comes to surrendering control of some of the areas of life on earth, I don’t always want to do that.

   Not everything that I try to control myself is a pure disaster immediately. Sometimes I stumble along OK. But it doesn’t take long, if I’m honest, before events and circumstances point to the fact that I would be much better off with God driving the bus. 

   God has prepared a seat for me on the bus. And the seatbelt reads, “trust, wait, relax.”   

   God’s seatbelt is an absolute guarantor of safety unlike the ones in our vehicles.  Why am I so reluctant to put it on?

   You can’t even spell control without C-O-N. The concept of control is the biggest con I know of. You don’t have it, you never did and never will.

   It’s hilarious when you think about it.

   Proverbs 16:9 reads, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” If you never open a Bible and read Proverbs 16:9 you are nevertheless subject to this truth.

   But what’s up with some of us who know the passage and still try to drive that bus at times? 

   The “how to” on surrender to God is like much of the Christian life. It starts with prayer, a direct line to God that shifts our focus to Him.  It then goes to Bible study that allows you to see if your plans line up with God’s.

   “Sometimes when we are trying to figure out how to surrender to God and let go of our plans, we forget that we need to wait on God,” reads the website www.rosevinecottagegirls.com.

   “We can’t just throw up a prayer, get some advice, and charge ahead. We need to be in step with God so that not only did we seek Him in the planning, but also in the timing.”

   “While you’re in the waiting stages of surrender, focus on the prayer, spending time in the word, and keep doing the last thing He told you to do.”

   Some verses to illustrate the point:

Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”

    Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

   Romans 12:1, “I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

   At the bottom of my little card is written James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

    Drawing near is about trusting, waiting, relaxing. May God help you and me to do this. 

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