Trusting God For The Big Stuff

Have you ever wanted something so bad you would do almost anything to get it?

My son is a high school senior this year and he’s slated for college–a really good one. He has labored throughout high school in order to attend a premier university in Arizona. Over a year ago our family suffered a hard financial hit that left us unable to help him with his college costs, but I wasn’t about to allow our family’s financial setback to ruin his chances.

He’d been applying like crazy for scholarships and everything seemed to be moving along as he received a Presidential Scholarship from the university and an invitation into their Honors Program. Then, several weeks later we received a letter detailing the financial aid he could expect and–crash!–our hopes crumbled as we stared at the impossible balance due.

Not being a sit-around-and-hope-for-the-best type of person, I flew out to Arizona on family business–and managed to wedge a side trip in to meet with the financial aid office of my son’s college pick.

As I sat in my guest casita in Tubac, Arizona wrestling over my son’s future, my own words, spoken many times to others, scrolled through my mind. “God created each of us for a purpose, a specific purpose. He has plans for us, plans He laid out before we were even born . . .”

It was the day before the meeting, and I sat slumped over my Bible praying that my appointment with the college’s financial counselor would yield some sort of strategy, something we could do to get him there. I thought about how hard he had worked, how he had followed God so faithfully–and what it had the cost him. I reflected on how he rarely asked for much.

And I was willing to do just about anything to enable him to realize his dream.

Businesswoman boxing with red gloves against white background

“Lord, I could really use some encouragement on this.” Opening my Bible to the passage for my day’s study I began to read. Startled, I sat up. I shifted in my chair. Paused a moment, then re-read the passage again.

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who will not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

I fought the ramifications of what I was reading, “. . . anyone who loves his son . . . more than me is not worthy of me . . . “

Ouch!

And then, ” . . . and anyone who will not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 

How many times had I thought, “I’m willing to do anything to make this happen.” How many times had I said it–meant it?

The truth found me and held me squirming in its grip.

I’d left little room for seeking God’s will and even less for accomplishing it His way.

Then God released me and gently reminded me of someone in Scripture who succeeded in pushing an earthly plan through.

Hezekiah was a godly king who drew his nation back to God by restoring the temple and worship services in Judah. At the peak of his life, he fell seriously ill and God instructed him to get his house in order and prepare for death. However, Hezekiah rejected God’s plan and pled for healing instead. Although Hezekiah was supposed to die at that time, God “saw his tears” and compassionately granted him fifteen more years of life.

Sounds like Hezekiah made a good choice, right? But he didn’t, for during that fifteen year period:

  • Hezekiah sired a son . . . who grew to be an infamous tyrant that “shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end . . .”
  • Hezekiah gave a royal tour . . . to the greedy Babylonians who would later return to plunder Jerusalem’s riches and enslave its citizens.
  • Hezekiah finished his life poorly . . .  in selfish disregard for the welfare of his descendants or nation.

Were those extra fifteen years worth it? If Hezekiah had known the disastrous outcome of his desire to live beyond God’s plan, would he have still asked for it?

Hezekiah’s example reminds me how limited is my own view of life.  How utterly lacking in wisdom or understanding I am! I only see one small part of the picture, but God is omniscientHe sees the whole thing. Only He knows what’s up the road and around the bend. And God alone possesses the wisdom and power to lay out a plan that truly is best–for everyone.

So I’ve decided to abandon my quest to secure my son’s future. I won’t strive to “make something happen” either. Instead, in peace-filled confidence, I’ll entrust him to God’s plan, because I don’t know what the future holds.

Anymore than Hezekiah did.

What do you do when you really want something?

Photo courtesy of Crestock.com

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Comments 16

  1. Great post. I love how you laid out the ramifications of Hezekiah’s fervent prayer. I know how hard it is to sit back and watch the “perfect opportunity” pass my kids by. But I’ve also watched in delight as God’s better plan for them unfolded later. Thanks for the reminder as I, too, am at a crossroads, listening for God’s direction and trying not to make things happen.

    1. “I know how hard it is to sit back and watch the “perfect opportunity” pass my kids by.” That statement sums it up! Thanks for the encouragement–you are so right.

  2. Excellent post, Bethany. Praising God for His answers to your son’s future. He has already answered big in the house thing. AND in HIS time. 🙂

  3. Excellent post, Bethany. Praising God for His answers to our son’s future. He has already answered big in the house thing. AND in HIS time. 🙂

  4. Hi Beth, I was touched by your sharing and I know that we can trust the Lord for the care and future of our loved ones. Sometimes it takes a little while for the head knowledge to trickle down to my heart knowledge! All our love, Mom and Dad Macklin

  5. Bethany, Thank you for sharing this story. Prayer–and studying God’s word for discernment are the only answers to life’s most challenging events that I know. It wasn’t always that path for me, but I praise God He opened my heart. I went through something similar (reconciling cancer and my career) and found myself at the same point–the Cross–and was led to simply pray “You’re will, not mine” And, in trusting I found peace in God’s will. Years down the road I can say that God was perfectly right–His way was the right way. Anything else would have led me away from God’s will into the darkness of a path of my own choosing. The consequences of your faith, your trust in God and sharing this story with others and the subsequent events will be fruitful–in His will and in His time–and that is where the Light is always on. God Bless, and thanks again for sharing this amazing story of faith. luke

    1. Yes, for Christians, that where peace is found in the center of God’s will. I’m rejoicing in the peace I am experiencing as a result of God steering me in off my own path. Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  6. Oh, my. This one hit me right between the eyes. I’m still learning to stop trying to control/fix things and trust God’s will, planning, and timing. (Emphasis on the “still learning” part!)

    1. God’s “aim” is always spot on, isn’t it! A non-Christian friend once told me, “God never lets you Christians get away with anything.” Not usually, thank heavens! 🙂

  7. Thank you for the beautiful encouragment Bethany and for sharing your gift. Hezekiah is a perfect picture of the follies of desiring to live beyond God’s plan.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. 🙂 I definitely don’t want to be a Hezekiah, I want to finish well. And that means faithfulness day by day.

  8. My heart, including my “momma” heart is touched for you. Continuing to pray!

  9. Love this post Bethany!
    After an extended period of God stripping, I am at a similar crossroads, trust God to be who He is & that His plan is the best -even though I can’t really see it at all- or cast out for another way. It’s a very hard spot to be in. The brutal reality is there is no other way that is any good except His way, because as you wrote, He knows what’s up the road and around the bend.
    Blessings to you,
    Sarah

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. That’s what faith is all about–whole hearted trust, when you can’t see what’s ahead.

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