With great anticipation and a little bit of fear, I ended yesterday and started today with two seemingly simple questions:
Jesus, what does it mean for there to be more of you and less of me?
Father, what are your plans for me?
And, yes, I asked those questions both time with great anticipation because I take God at his Word, that when we ask such questions, He will answer. And that is why I also asked those questions with a mix of fear.
I’ll admit it. I’m afraid of the answer. I’ve never been so bold in my faith before. And although I’ve heard plenty of sermons that assure pews of believers that God will not call you to be a missionary in a foreign land if that is not your passion, I harbor doubts. For one thing, there are too many stories in the Bible where God has sent people into circumstances about which they held more discomfort than passion: Moses, Jonah, Abraham to name a few.
But, I asked the questions anyway. In spite of the uncertainty.
As I meditated on the first question, about what it means to abandon all of me to all of Jesus, a memory floated through my mind and took up residence in the front of my thoughts so I decided to explore it a bit more.
I was in a small group Sunday School class led by one of the associate pastors at a church in Lexington, Kentucky. We were an eclectic group not only in our beliefs, but also in our politics and passions.
During one meeting we got into a discussion about trusting God, relying on God and what it means to have a relationship with God. It was similar to the question I posed, this idea of Jesus living on the inside of us so that there is more of Him and less of us. I don’t recall all of the conversation, but I do remember pretty vividly one man’s response, perhaps because he sounded offended at the idea of trusting God with all of the details of his life.
He didn’t agree that God was interested in every single little detail of our lives. As an example, he said that he was pretty confident that God didn’t care if he wore a blue shirt or a red shirt to work and he certainly wasn’t going to pray about that. His response was couched in the idea that God has better things to do then worry about what color shirt we wear or what we have for breakfast or any other myriad of minor details in our daily life.
And in that moment, I remember thinking, Of course. That makes perfect sense. We certainly don’t need to bother God with such inconsequential things.
But you know what? That doesn’t make any sense at all to me now. Not in light of my decision to abandon all of me to all of Jesus.
We are supposed to cast our cares on Jesus because he cares for us. We are supposed to enjoy a deeply intimate friendship with Jesus.
Do we need Jesus to tell us what shirt to wear or what food to eat for breakfast or what paper towels or toilet paper to buy. No. But is He interested in those things? I believe he is, at least to the degree that they are a part of our living.
Think about it. Have you ever asked your spouse whether you should wear the blue shirt or the red shirt? Ever asked your spouse what she wants for breakfast? Why?
I don’t know about you, but I care what my husband thinks; his opinion matters to me. We are married. We are doing life together. We talk about things, the big things and the minor details that make up our life together.
How much more should this apply to my relationship with Jesus, who loves me more than my spouse ever could?
Today, I stood in my kitchen cleaning up snack dishes from my little girls who are 6.5 and 4.5. They were in the living room and were bickering over something that didn’t even register with me; all I heard was their angry words, their ugly attitudes toward each other.
And I stopped where I was and as if He were standing beside me I turned to Jesus and said, Jesus, how would you have me parent my children? What would you have me do right now?
I want Him to know that this is how I want to live my life from now on. In conversation about the big things and the minor details.
Because we are doing life together, me and Jesus.
Because He cares for me.