I am slowly reading through Yancey’s book Reaching for the Invisible God. In a section from chapter 5 on trust he quotes C.S.Lewis. Lewis is speaking of trust and using examples of a child or of an animal that we ask to trust us in order to help them overcome an obstacle or painful or dangerous situation.
We are asking them to believe that what is painful will relieve their pain and that what looks dangerous is their only safety. We ask them to accept apparent impossibilities: that moving the paw farther back into the trap is the way to get out – that hurting the finger very much more will stop the finger hurting – that water which is obviously permeable will resist and support the body – that holding onto the only support within reach is not the way to avoid sinking – that to go higher and onto a more exposed ledge is the way not to fall. (p. 68)
I guess we should expect that God will take us to places like that too. He sees the whole picture and knows what is best for us to do. It all looks so scary from our perspective. That kind of trust is so hard to learn.
I guess if we don’t trust God then we only have ourselves. I know that I put all sorts of defense mechanisms into place that are not very good for me or the people around me – like sarcasm or cutting others down to size when I am feeling threatened. Ignoring problems in the hopes that they will go away on their own is one of my favorite solutions. None of these are very healthy. I think God wants us to face issues in ways that are healthy, even if not easy; ways that may seem painful or dangerous. He has never said that we have to do this all on our own, however. I guess our doing life on our own is just a childish idea of self sufficiency that we would be better off giving up.