Door on the school house at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Let God drive

Something happened to me last night that hasn’t happened in a really long time: I got to ride in a car. Usually I drive because I’m a control freak, but last night, en route to Dallas, my brother drove. I also realized that this was the first time I’ve been a passenger in my car. My brother asked me how to adjust the seat, and I couldn’t remember how.

But it made me think of something regarding this month’s study of the Fruit of the Spirit. One of the Fruit of the Spirit (as listed in Galatians 5:22-23) is faith, and yesterday I blogged about what that word actually means. But the same word can also be defined as trusting in God–believing that He knows what He’s doing.

Sort of like turning over responsibility on the road, having faith in God is letting go of the wheel and letting God drive.

Door on the school house at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Door on the school house at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 9:10.

Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

As I’ve said before, and in many many blog posts, I’m a control freak. I struggle with letting go of responsibilities, real or perceived. I don’t trust people easily because I don’t believe that anyone else can do as good a job as I can. True or not, that’s how I’m wired.

That comes out in my driving too. I don’t let go of my wheel easily. I don’t turn over control of my car to just anyone. It has to be someone whose driving I trust implicitly, and even then it’s still difficult for me.

My brother, for example, is a great driver. So I don’t have any qualms about giving him my keys and letting him drive my car for hundreds of miles at night in traffic that would rather run over you than use a turn signal.

How many of us are willing to do that with our lives? How much do you trust God? How much faith do you have that God is always going to do the right thing, that He’ll always work things out for our good and His glory, that He’ll never abandon us?

It’s a tall order, control freak or not.

But do you really want to try getting through life on your own strength? Do you really want to try to survive life on your own limited knowledge? Do you really want to try to make it when you don’t know what’s going to happen next?

My brother knew how to get to Dallas. My brother knew how to drive my car. My brother knew the roads, the exits, the area. He knew where not to go. He knew how fast he could go. He knew all the specifics, and he knew them in the dark.

I didn’t know those things. Maybe I could have eventually gotten to the hotel, but it would have taken longer.

How many times are our lives like that? How many times would life be so much easier if we could just trust God with our next step? How much frustration and confusion and agony could we avoid if we just chose to have faith in God rather than in our own abilities or knowledge?

I’m not saying the trip will be easy. On the contrary, if you like to be in control, sitting in the passenger seat and trusting someone else to drive is terrifying. But if you put your trust in someone who knows where they’re going, you’ll be better off. And all you’ll need to do is hold on for the ride.

Cows in the pasture at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

Knowing

Do you buy new brands at the grocery store? Or do you stick with the brands you have always bought? How brave are you in trying new things? I work in marketing, and one of our biggest goals is to familiarize people with our brand name. We want people to know our logo and our products and our history so that when they see our products in the store, they’ll know it’s us. Because if people know our name, that means they know they can trust us.

Cows in the pasture at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

Cows in the pasture at Safe Haven Farm – Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 9:10.Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

It’s amazing to me that some people can’t trust God or won’t trust Him. I don’t understand how they can live their lives without trusting Him, but if you ask them about it, they just don’t believe He exists or that He’s listening or whatever. But that makes no sense to me. To me, if there is nothing else certain in the universe, it’s that God is here and He cares about me and wants to help me.

But then … I know Him.

Okay, so I bought a generic brand of toothpaste one day. It was during a financially sparse time in my life, and I wanted to save some money. It tasted nasty, but hey–it was toothpaste. And even though Crest or Colgate has prettier boxes, I was sure the generic brand would be just as good. They usually are, right? Wrong. My checkup at the dentist revealed a major build up of plaque and a cavity, which was unusual for me. I asked my dentist if he thought it was because of my generic toothpaste, and he said it probably was. So I bought some Crest. And the next time, I got a clear report.

I knew that Crest toothpaste was probably better, but I didn’t want to spend the money on it. Well, I ended up spending ten times the cost of a tube of good toothpaste on a cavity caused by using the cheaper toothpaste. But in any case, I knew Crest was a good option because I had used it all my life as a child and never had a cavity; so I knew I could trust the brand. Maybe it’s a silly illustration because God is most certainly not a brand name, but the concept is there.

I know God. I’ve known God since I was seven years old, and I have learned through many difficult experiences that I can trust Him. I may not always like where I end up, but I can always trust that He’ll be there to help me. But people who don’t know Him already have a hard time believing He exists.

So don’t be surprised if someone who doesn’t know God doesn’t trust Him. It’s kind of like an untested brand at a store. Until they know Him personally, they’re going to have a hard time believing that He can actually do the things He promises to do.

So the first step is to introduce them.

And once they know Him, they’ll learn to trust Him. Because they’ll learn He never gives up on us and there’s nothing we can ever do to separate ourselves from Him.