Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Have any of you been watching the mini-series on the History Channel, The Bible? Wow...I don't know about you, but those times seem SO brutal! Trust ... it was a life or death proposition. Daniel. David. Moses. And God's chosen people, those they led, were so reliant on God for everything.
And what about the trust required of 5 young men who obeyed God who, in the mid-1950s, went to Ecuador to go to reach an indingenous isolated and hostile tribe known as the "Aucas," which when translated means "savage." They not only went, but took their young wives, and their children would be born there. Believing the promise that God had sent them. Yet...after much prayer, efforts of successful engagement with these people...these men, Jim Eliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Pete Flemming, and Ed McCully were speared to death on January 8, 1956. Five women were now widows and 8 children were fatherless. But their faith never wavered. You can find the actual Life magazine feature article here, starting on page 10, with lots of photographs. But I'll tell you the rest of the story at the end of my post.
So...most days we are not facing such tests or trials...and yet why is trusting God so hard at times?
1. First, God gives us the grace we need for each day. As Charles Spurgeon said, "[God] isn't going to give you Monday's grace on a Sunday, nor Tuesday's grace on a Monday." Deuteronomy 33:25 says, "as your days, so shall your strength be." (ESV) We will not receive the grace to face anything until we need it...but it will be sufficient for us to trust.
2. Along those same lines, I believe the greater the grace, the greater the battle in our minds. I'm sure these great examples of faith struggled...how else could they have developed such faith...only through stress and resistance...remember?
3. In that light, I also believe that in these days, the enemy uses complacency, rationalization, and busyness to keep us out of God's word and away from His people, tools to counter the landmines we come across subtly...and daily.
So, those missionaries in Ecuador, believed God had a plan and trusted, threw all they had on His voice. Only to end in tragedy? Oh no, some of the wives returned, as did Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, who was only 4 when his father was killed.
If you don't think God has ALWAYS has a plan...watch the murderer of Steve's father, Mincaye, and Steve himself, during an interview in 2007...about 5 minues.
Today I am grateful despite the battle in my mind, I NEVER have to rely on my own understanding of God's plan...just believe there always is one.