4. The Far, Left Hand Corner of Trust

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
Do you not know?

Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
     the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
     and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
     and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
     and young men stumble and fall;
     but those who hope in the LORD
     will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint.

To relate the “Grace of God” to walking up to a counter when it is time to pay your expensive dinner bill, only to have it paid by a friend is not only a shallow, weak-kneed, fumble at explaining this Supernatural Grace, but it’s also not realistic. It’s as impractical as reaching for your wallet when you have two broken arms and if you could somehow get to your wallet, you’re broke anyway so it won’t do any good. And when life is its most cherry-coated-ly grim, we face a trust that’s too high and unreachable with our broken arms. Then when we face it with our “great ingenuity” we come to find out that stacking wobbly stepping stools to reach it with our teeth is not only dangerous, but anyone looking on will call us a fool. We still try to stack those stools. We rarely ask for help, because any inherently humanistic ideals we may have, seem to make light of our situation, and still try to convince our deaf, blind, and crippled selves that by some stroke of luck we can do this on our own or at least play a part in it.

At the end of yourself you can find a miracle, a “somehow.” It’s called “trust.” And as I come to my own barrenness, though there is some little deposit of “trust,” I don’t know if I can draw a road map to it. I think some of it comes through waiting and some of it comes through grappling with Grace.

I think I’m finally starting to catch on to the audacious truth of the sovereignty of God, that when we as humans wait until the last moment it’s called “procrastination,” but when God does it it’s called “perfect timing.” To me, the bravery of the Gospel seems to be that when all hope is gone, grim in the face of fear, hopelessness, and nothing else could go wrong, the day is saved not by a king dressed in shining armor, but by a brazen skinned carpenter with callused feet. When we think the perfect entry would have been at the beginning of the first act, the hero and star comes in at the very last second of the play. We sit on the edge of our seats not giving up hope because we know the hero is coming; almost to tears, but closer to doubt, we pray for the strength to wait. Then when He does come, we faint with grateful exhaustion as we adorn a storm worn smile, saying, “I knew He’d come.”

In following Christ, waiting is inevitable. Whether it is for a something, a someone, or a getaway to a somewhere, I think that the joy of the Gospel is that even when we have given up all hope, He hasn’t. And despite our lack of faith, our providing Father makes up for it with an overabundance of mercy. And I think that at the end of that rope, hanging on by one thread, blowing and being tossed in the wind, is hope.

The work of Christ was filled with those who were at the end of themselves. The woman with the issue of blood, parents with dying or dead children, the blind, the lame, the outcast and diseased. All of them people who had not only come to the end of their ropes, but people who were falling into the pit of despair and reaching up with all their might.

So finally, we collapse to our rear-ends and say, “Drat,” for we realize that the wardrobe is no longer what gets us to Narnia. Instead, the Narnia must pounce on us when we’re least expecting it.

A prize that can’t be won and a faith that is only theory until it is given feet. An enduring joy that comes through tragedy, satisfaction that comes through surrender, and a trust that comes through all the falling and reaching only to find out that the One who has the strength to catch you is as present today as He will be tomorrow. And through all the rambling and bumbling we run into a new wall called “mercy” that’s been there the entire time but suddenly now we have eyes to see it. And somehow, we trust that it’ll be there tomorrow, and not only then and the day after, but for all of eternity.

So, from the farthest corner of our hearts where He can use us simply because we are His…we trust.