Friday, May 29, 2015

Scarlett or Saint?

A recent essay entitled, Strap on Your Bib, It’s Time for Humble Pie, contemplates our need for humility and childlike trust in God. When we 'let go and let God', we're admitting that it's not ours to resolve the tempestuous aspects of our lives. Like Peter, walking across the sea to Jesus, we aren't in control. But, in his weakness of faith, Peter knew to call out to Jesus for help. Our own fallen human nature often brings us to a spasm of fear so paralyzing that we shy away from the very One in Whom our safety lies.

We aren't particularly unusual in this frail human reaction. Therefore, scripture continually admonishes us to offer our trials and fears to Jesus. The same Jesus Who gave His very life for us. 

The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. My God is my helper, and in him will I put my trust. My protector and the horn of my salvation, and my support.  Psalm 18:2

Finding the wherewithal to do this, however, is not an easy task. Our mortal, life-preserving instincts all too often send us in the opposite direction – fleeing away from His assistance. 

When we are finally spent - having fled away from the things we fear and breathless - the exhaustion we feel blunts our emotions. It’s then that we're able to resist the eerie pull of terror.

But is this faith? Or is it an attitude of "I'll think about it tomorrow"? The answer lies in our will. Do we thrust those abysmal fears away, into the deep and dark recesses of our minds – hidden from all but our subconscious mind? Or to we bring them to the glaring light of day and then offer them to God?

The answer to that question will show whether we are successfully working toward being a saint – or imitating Scarlett O’Hara, from the 1936 novel Gone With the Wind.

“I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.” Scarlett

If we deny ourselves the opportunity to faithfully present our fears to God the Father, we are doing nothing more than repressing our trials for another day. On the other hand, if we face them head on, we are putting our faith and childlike trust into the all-powerful Hand of God.

“I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13