“Do you trust me?” I asked Ruby.
Ruby looked up at me, her liquid brown eyes very serious.
She shook her head no. Mommy, I want to do it my way. You don’t have my best interests in mind. I have to protect myself.
Ruby’s dilemma was very small, to me. She didn’t want to go upstairs by herself. She hates being up there alone, even in the daytime. She used to have nightmares about an enormous beetle coming in her window. That beetle would have to be 20 feet tall, but whatever. He might find fitting into her window a tight squeeze. To each her own nightmare. Some leftover fear lingers. We’ve prayed, talked, cajoled, even bribed. Nothing truly sticks or changes her outlook on The Spooky Upstairs.
She doesn’t trust us. She doesn’t believe that the simple act of going up and down the stairs, ugly red carpet and all, will turn out to be a non-event. Nobody here but us chickens. Her pajamas reside in her drawer, unarmed. Her trust is low in this area. Call it the negative by-product of an abundant imagination.
But don’t we treat God the same way? Our crises in relationships, finances, careers, health – are nothing to Him. He created the world. He breathed life into people. He is love, all the time looking out for us. Yet something in us refuses to yield. A small kernel of stubbornness remains. “You can’t possibly fix this, God. I will do it myself.” “Okay, Lord, I know just what to say. Now, bless me as I go…” And we fail. Then we wonder why God didn’t intervene.
Our trust fund is low. Contrary to the old American saying, God doesn’t help those who help themselves. Otherwise, He would be blessing the bank robbers. He helps those who trust in him and wait on His direction or provision.
Sometimes, He makes us go “upstairs”. We get to confront the thing we feared the most, meeting it head-on in direct combat. We will defeat it if we do it in His power and not our own. Other times, we wait. We don’t move forward until some instruction comes our way. Still other times, He fights our battles for us and we never have to do a thing. He dissipates the rotten circumstances and changes people’s hearts for us. I like those the best.
We will try to continue to encourage Ruby to head up the stairs without protest. Jesus has already defeated the Great Beetle, along with all her other fears. He can be trusted.