August 30 Reflections

Henri Nouwen wrote in the book, The Inner Voice of Love, “At every moment you have to decide to trust the voice that says, ‘I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13)”; “Stop wandering around. Instead come home and trust that God will bring you what you need”; “For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you”; “The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need.”

Nouwen wrote this book as he faced his own imminent death, in fact the book was published on the day of this death. In the book he uses the word trust sixty-five times. That is a lot considering the book is only 115 pages long. In the book that he wrote as he faced death, he proclaimed that trust was the most foundational truth in our relationship with God.

I have often stated that I believe the number one question to answer in my walk with God is not do I love God, but rather it is do I trust God. Do I trust that God loves me? Do I trust that God is with me every second? Do I trust that nothing can separate me from his love? Do I trust that God is for me and not against me? Do I trust that God will give me what I most need? The journey of the Israelite’s out of slavery to freedom, is a continual test of their trust in God. I think each day is an opportunity to trust God; to not run ahead on my own.

The Israelites had witnessed the plagues that led to their release. Added to that, the parting of the sea, the pillar of fire and cloud that led them, and the daily provision of quail and manna. God’s incredible provision and protection, and yet in chapter 17 of Exodus we see them grumbling that there is not enough water to drink. Instead of simply going to God in prayer and asking him for what they need, they grumble, complain and quarrel. Really, they were asking the question, “Is the LORD among us or not?” (Exodus 17:7)

Before I get too hard on the Israelites, I must remember my own wavering and lack of trust. I often think I am not enough, even though God says I am. I often think there is not enough, even though God says that there is.  I often think there will not be enough, even though God says there will be. We are going to think about this on Sunday as we look at the story, “Water From the Rock” in Exodus 17. Some passages to read and reflect upon: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 62:1-8; John 14:1-3.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn