Yesterday I started out relating the story of how I’d received an email from a friend who is facing a crisis, and was laying the background of how for weeks I’d not had words to reply to earlier communications from her. And it was okay, because other friends had words of comfort and encouragement to offer. But Sunday night, I suddenly had words and wrote them down. She replied Monday and again I had words, and after getting the go ahead from the Spirit I wrote them down and sent them. They turned out to be just the thing. Then, as I went about my business yesterday I kept getting the thought that what I’d been given to say would be of interest or encouragement to my blog readers, so I set out to write a post. Which immediately led me off in a different direction than I’d intended.
That’s okay. That’s how it works. And since, once I’d finished I still had the sense that the words to my friend could be helpful to others, I’ve come back to set them down — with a bit of editing, of course. For one, I’m leaving out the details of the situation to protect her privacy, and because I don’t think they’re needed. The doctrine is always what’s needed, because that we can apply to our own details… Thus, here’s more or less what I said:
You do have to balance the idea that God will not violate free will with the concept of His overruling will, in which He doesn’t allow people to go in the direction they wish to. I don’t know that I would go with the statement on that tape declaring that suicide is ALWAYS the exception to God’s overruling will, because I’m sure you’ve read of the suicide attempts where the person jumped off the bridge and just broke their legs, or shot themselves in the head and the bullet ran around the skull under the skin, or passed cleanly between the brain’s hemispheres, leaving them alive and relatively undamaged.
The operating truth here is, your child is going nowhere until God takes her. Period. He’s the one who ultimately decides — not you, not her. If He takes her by allowing her volition to function, it’s for her blessing and yours. But really, how do you know what’s truly going on in her soul and with her volition right now? She may not even know herself.
Second thought: it is not you who is going to make or break this situation. You are not superwoman to the rescue. Whatever decision you make, it’s not going to matter in the end. Do you really think God is up there wringing His hands, just waiting to see if you make the “right” decision and if you don’t, hell descends?
We get way too fixated on making the “proper” application, thinking that it all depends on us, when we should be fixated on the fact that it doesn’t depend on us at all. It’s no accident your child is out of your reach right now. But God knows EXACTLY what is happening with her, EXACTLY what she needs and He knew it in eternity past. He provided a solution in eternity past, too. Thus the solution is already in place. The plan is His, not ours, for His glory, not ours. And we have no idea what that plan looks like for any given day.
Here are a couple of verses that are coming to me, ones God used with me awhile back when he finally made it clear to me that I was to rely on Him and not the world with regard to my writing “career”…
Jer 17:5 Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes people his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord…
Is 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of my Spirit… who proceed down to Egypt without consulting me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh.
vs 6 -7 They carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys and their treasures on camels’ humps to a people who cannot profit them, even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty…
vs 15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
If you have the very Trinity dwelling in you, why in the world would you go to a person to solve this problem? If you’ve asked the creator of the universe for help, one who is your loving Father, why would you go ask a man? Because your Father isn’t coming through in your timing? Because there’s a wrong here you think He’s unaware of and cannot handle? Pastor was just talking about that yesterday. Our God is the creator, the maintainer and the judge of the universe. He knows what’s going on. He’s not sleeping and He’s not off taking a potty break. He KNOWs.
And one final thought. Do you really think that if you just give it over to Him, let Him handle it, rest in Him and trust Him as your loving father, knowing that whatever the outcome, it will be good and perfect because He is perfect. If you really trust Him completely with this, do you think He’s going to say, “Oh no. That’s it! You made the mistake of trusting me and now you’re going to pay for that. I really wanted you to work and get your hand into the mess because I was counting on you to make the right decisions to fix it, but you blew it. I am really displeased with you because you trusted wholly in me.” Do you really think He’ll say that? I don’t.
Okay, that wasn’t the final thought. This one is, I think. Other doctrinal Christians can give you advice, but you have to do what you think God is leading you to do. Maybe He’ll use a person in authority to resolve this situation, but I don’t think He’d do that as a result of you deciding you need to go to a man for help. Now, if after you’ve slammed the whole thing on God and the guy suddenly shows up at your door, or calls you on the phone, with no imput from you, that could be God — or another rabbit trail. But one thing I think is certain — you can NOT go wrong trusting the Lord and standing by until He makes it very clear what you’re to do.
When I get in these situations where my thoughts are skittering back and forth like mice and I don’t know what to do and the emotions just twist tighter and tighter, I give it up. I don’t have the power or the information to decide. I have no idea what to do. So I just give it over to Him and tell Him to handle it. Whatever I’m to do, I ask Him to lead me into it, because there’s no way I can decide just now. And lately I ask Him for help in calming my mind and taking my thoughts away from the subject if I’m not able to do it myself.
Then later, somehow and I never quite know how, I find He’s led me… It’s a relationship between you and Him. Trust Him. Trust what He says to you and not what people say. Even doctrinal believers. Job’s three friends were doctrinal, but what they said to Job did not apply. They didn’t have all the facts…