What does it mean to trust God? It sounds like good and biblical advice. I certainly don’t have anything against trusting God, but sometimes telling someone to trust God is like telling a drowning man or woman, “Just swim.” He or she already knows that.
And trusting God is especially hard at Thanksgiving when we’re supposed to be thankful…for everything.
In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds his followers that God is a God of “little things” (birds and flowers). He is faithful there…and his followers are a lot more valuable than birds and flowers. Jesus also tells his disciples to seek the kingdom…and God would take care of the rest.
Then Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I love those words because they recognize the problem: we will have troubles yesterday, today and tomorrow. But Jesus says two things that are very important.
God is in Charge
You can’t do anything about the troubles and, in fact, there is very little you can “fix.” So play the cards you’re dealt, do the best you can with what you’ve got, and then “let the devil take the hindmost.”
God really is in charge of this mess. If that’s true (and it is), I don’t have to try and do things above my pay grade. I just have to do what I can and trust that God is in it. The “trusting God” isn’t a volitional thing I have to work at. It’s the only alternative I have. That, I suppose, is one of the reasons we have “unfixable” things in our lives.
Seek the Kingdom
Then Jesus says one other thing: “Seek the kingdom.”
That’s doable too. It doesn’t mean I’ll get everything right, fix the problems causing my anxiety and worry, have all the answers, or even do the seeking right. But I can seek the kingdom (to try and see God and all that he does) in my day. And Jesus promises that God will be there. And when I even seek to seek the kingdom, I’m seeking the kingdom.
At Thanksgiving, when we’re called to be thankful, perhaps what Jesus told us to do is what Paul meant when he said that we were to give thanks in all things (Ephesians 5:20). Thanksgiving is the recognition that God is God and is in all things (both the good and the things we don’t perceive as good), and seeking the kingdom in all of it.
We don’t have all the answers to the great questions of pain, evil and suffering. But we do believe and that reality is one of the best arguments for the existence of a good God.
In fact, in doing the doable (“accepting the dark” and “seeking the kingdom”), God shows with understanding, forgiveness, mercy and love. He really does.
Everything else is small stuff.
I get “fixed” and find relief (as much as possible in a fallen world) when I recognize the fallen world for what it is, accept it and my powerlessness, and then seek the kingdom.
In other words, it’s in thanking God for and in all things.