January 18: “Trust Him”
(What Choice Do You Have?)
Happy Hump Day, sister! I’ll admit, after subjecting myself to yesterday’s nonsense I almost didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. But, then I remembered that I’m no longer required to sacrifice my own joy on the altars of imaginary cloud men. Also, a deal’s a deal – so, let’s get on with my daily review of the little book you gave me, starting with some words of wisdom from Jesus.
Verse Of The Day: “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20 (NIV)
Really? We’re still avoiding the Gospels and the word of Jesus? Why isn’t this book called Proverbs, Psalms & Paul – Daily instead of Jesus Daily? Jesus! Regardless, let’s go ahead and take notice of a couple key words in this verse: wait and hope – two criteria that are inseparably required of the faithful.
Today’s Theistic Themes: I must confess, next to the first few sentences of today’s devotional, I wrote my surprising approval, “Best Paragraph Of Book!” The author began by documenting some of the reasons we are afraid to ask for help from others. Be it pride, arrogance, or fear of rejection, this is something I’ve always struggled with and I began to think of others in my life who might be afraid to ask for my help. Unfortunately, it all went downhill – quickly.
“We may be disappointed by God’s response, but he’ll never turn us down without providing what we need more in its place.”
How conveniently (and stupidly) nihilistic can this be? “Dear Lord, please watch over my family as they sleep. Oh, wait – what’s that? You think I need my baby to die from SIDS? Well, then – who am I to judge your mysterious ways? Praise the Lord!” Brainwashing 101.
“This is the essence of faith: trusting the Lord to provide all that we need, even if he chooses to do so in ways different than what we requested.”
There it is – the “essence of faith” as Jesus Daily calls it. That is, if you are able to attribute everything to your unseen God, you’ll never have any need to ask him to confirm or deny his part in your joys or sorrows. Want to get to work in time today for your employee review? Sorry, you need the humility of being late because of getting a flat tire on a country road with no spare and a dead phone battery. No use worrying about it – Allahu Akbar! Do you want a happy marriage? Sorry, but you need to feel the oppressive weight of daily physical and psychological abuse. God is good, indeed!
Can you not see how dangerously fatalistic this type of indoctrination of “trust” can be? If God knows better for me than I know for myself, showing time and time again what I need in the form of failure and disappointment – why bother trying? My wants, needs, and personal responsibility are irrelevant.
Short Secular Alternative: Trust yourself – you’re all you’ve got! That doesn’t mean you should strive to be an arrogant self-worshiping narcissist who is always right about everything (even when proven wrong). Trusting yourself is about striving to be self-aware, retaining the ability to acknowledge your weaknesses as much as your strengths. When it comes to asking for help from others, the antidote to pride and vulnerability seems to be the simple willingness to admit that you aren’t the smartest or strongest kid on the block. The key is to be self-aware enough to not allow yourself to be held back by your own damn ego or fear. When the shit really hits the fan and there’s no one (and no gods) left to rely on, well – like it or not, it’s up to you! So, look in the mirror and get right with yourself!
P.S. Yep, I’m finally getting around to putting up a little tip jar. If you are a fan of this little project, be sure to check out everything else I’ve got going. (Spoiler Alert: I could use your help.)
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