Do you remember Corrie ten Boom, Holocaust survivor and best-selling author of the book, The Hiding Place? She lived through one of the most painful and traumatic experiences in history and out of her heart grew an encyclopedia of wisdom. I guess today, we would go to Wikipedia to learn about her life, but I’m in awe of her courage and stamina in facing her trials with audacious faith – then later revealing them with such passion and sincerity. Corrie said “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
I was talking to a friend of mine about a tragedy in her family. Instantly their lives were altered by an unexpected event. Why would this happen? We ask how can this be good? I never like to write about sadness. In fact, I’m uncomfortable writing about experiences that rip at the emotions of people because I want to portray life as happy or at least comfortable. But real life is tough and real stories leave us questioning where do we go from here? How can this be good? We have no human answer. I’m reminded of another thing Corrie ten Boom asked in one her talks “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” I ask myself, is prayer my steering wheel? If life takes a 180 degree turn from what I expect, will I pray through with God holding the wheel or will I drive through paying little attention to the one who guides the future?
Do I really believe if I get the inside right, the rest will take care of itself? That means my heart has to be right. If I look for joy in my circumstances will I find it? That means I have to be thankful and as James said, “Count it all joy”. Will circumstances of the day make me bitter, or make me better? To be better, my faith has to be bigger than my fear. The answer is embedded at the core of who I am, a reflection of my character at heart level. Psalm 19:14 says, “May my words and thoughts please you. Lord, you are my Rock, my shelter, the one who saves me.” My first priority is to remember that my attitude is a choice. What I do with it affects every facet of my life. When I choose faith first, I choose to trust this unknown future to a known God.
In Luke 17, the apostles who were personal friends of Jesus found their faith failing. They came right out and asked for what they wanted. “Lord, give us more faith.” Will I pray for more faith or just allow the enemy of my soul to suffocate my faith and rob me of my joy? It’s a choice I will have to make moment by moment. When it seems that nothing good can come from what we see in front of us, when the future seems uncertain, it is then that our reliance is on the One who gives us wisdom and strong faith. Solomon was a pretty wise man and has a whole textbook for life in Proverbs. In the 22nd chapter he stops and says, “Pay attention and listen to what wise people say. Remember what I am teaching you. It will be good to keep these things in mind. Be prepared to repeat them. I am teaching them to you now so that you will put your trust in the Lord.”
God knew that in this life there would be times when faith would falter and we would need to be reminded to go back to what we learned in the past, to put our trust in the Lord. We can plan our steps from the first to the last, but life can change in a heartbeat and the landscape of our plans dissolve. Surprised we ask, how can this be good? Then we remember. Nothing catches God by surprise. In Isaiah 48:17 The Lord says— “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” And in case you wonder where is God in all this, 2 Timothy 4:17 fills you in. “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength ….”
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. – Corrie ten Boom