I had such an amazing experience last week. On Wednesday, flying to California for a church conference, me in a window seat and unaware of the gift I’d receive. God showing off the whole way west. At first we flew above clouds, billowy and white, but before long the skies cleared and creation below came into view. One wonder after another. Snow-capped mountains. Rocky red cliffs. The beginning of a river, and then – could it be? Yes. A fly-by tour of the grandest canyon, and I sat forehead pressed tight against aircraft window in awe. Is this even possible? Worth the cost of the ticket just to take the tour. And bonus for me, since I wasn’t paying.
The next morning something else happened, equally awesome. I struggle to put it into words, but I’ll try. It’s worth it. For me.
I woke, late for Minnesota, but early for California, with plenty of time to linger. Five of us in a guest house suite, including my friend’s baby, and I was not expecting quiet time. But got it, and more. Door pulled shut and window open, Lent devotion on my phone. Week Two: Humility. Something I always need. And me aware of my carnal pride. Convicted already for several days.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.*
And then, in that moment – broken. Broken by God in a vision of grace, tears flowing authentic and sweet. Sitting there hoping the door unlocked would stay shut, and it did. Thirty minutes or more it was just God and me and the purest breaking I didn’t expect.
He asked – do you trust me? And I knew what He meant. This sin of mine, foolish. Yet me clinging tight. What will He do if I let Him have it? Knowing the problem. I do not trust.
And then as I wrestled – this image. Mountains and Canyon. His voice.
Consider the flowers…*
I sobbed, quiet, knowing. Remembering.
The evening before at the conference, talking about faith and teens. The grace of the Gospel, and for faith to stick our kids need to know the difference between works and trust. And what if the gospel they’re getting at church is the reason they’re walking away? “God is good. You are bad. Try harder.”**
It’s not working. This trying, not trusting. Our kids need to trust. So do I.
It’s true; I know it. Here, broken. I can’t – but He can. His grace is amazing.
I trust you. I do. A million times over. I do.
*Philippians 2:3 and Luke 12:27
**Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition, by Kara Powell and Chap Clark