Next Level Trust
Many of us are used to the feeling you get when you have poured your heart into something only to get a tepid response from others, at best. Artists know this, entertainers know this, preachers know this. Moms preparing the perfect Christmas at home know this. I think this is one of the reasons the movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation resonates with so many. We have all been there. The dilemma is not learning how to avoid such feelings. The dilemma is learning how to not allow such feelings to define current worth or determine future effort. Many have lessened their passion because they could not get over the pitiful or critical reception their dream received. When we rise above being defined but what others think, we are poised to make a real difference. Perhaps no President in history was more maligned in his time than Abraham Lincoln. Many people consider Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address some of the finest words ever put to pen. Few compositions have stood the test of time better. Yet at the time, the speech was anything but celebrated. A reporter present that day wrote the following, “We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.” Wow, I am glad his words did not prove prescient. But at the time many shared his sentiment. Lincoln seemed able to rise above it. Months later he would write his Second Inaugural Address, which may be even more inspiring than the Gettysburg Address. There is an attitude, a perspective, an outlook on life that is being indicated to us. It is something reflected so well in the words of a man who suffered more for unexplainable reasons than just about any other, Job. Job had, by all accounts, done everything right. Yet not only did he not get any praise, his life fell apart in drastic and dramatic fashion. After losing everything he was still able to utter these words, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15) This is next level trust. This is someone who has learned that what we do must never be confused with who God is. As long as our trust is in God, we have a foundation from which to grow, even amidst the weeds of our world. This is how you raise the bar on your discipleship.