Jen’s Gem: Be Faithful in the Little Things
Lately I have been thinking a lot about trust. Trust in others. Trust in myself. Trust in God. This one-syllable word holds a boatload of meaning. When it’s present, things go smoothly. Its absence wreaks havoc.
We exercise our trust muscles everyday. For example, as you drive to work, you trust people will obey the rules of the road. When you order something online, you trust that it will arrive when they say it will. When you tell your best friend a secret, you trust that they will keep it to themselves.
But what happens if you are a new driver, or you’ve never ordered online, or you are just getting to know someone? The level of trust goes way down, yes?
My daughter recently got her license. She is learning to navigate the roads of our city and is trusting that others will abide by the same rules as she. I am trusting that she will follow these rules as well as those I’ve set before her, like putting her phone on do not disturb and texting me when she arrives at each of her destinations.
Over the past few months, she has followed all of the rules and my trust in her has deepened. This has allowed her to take my car out more often and drive further than the end of our driveway. You should’ve seen her face when I gave her permission to go to the mall some twenty miles away!
Because of her consistent adherence to the rules, she has been given more privileges – more “blessings” if you will. Time. Consistency. Character. These are the ingredients in a trusting relationship.
This is the analogy that occurred to me as I was contemplating the debits and credits of my own blessings ledger recently. There have been a few big things that I’ve been asking God for in recent years that have not yet materialized. While I could go down the rabbit hole of “why God why,” I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t be asking, “why, Jen, why?” instead.
In my blog post a few weeks ago, I shared the story about my vision of Jesus where he told me that He would always take care of me. He has remained true to His word. His actions have matched His words. He’s been trustworthy.
However, I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve skipped a few of the hiccups I’ve experienced had I chosen to do what Jesus did and aligned my words and actions consistently over time.What if I wouldn’t have repeatedly backslid in my faith decades ago, searching for answers in all the wrong places, and instead kept my eyes on the One who had His eyes on me? What if I hadn’t complained about job situations, or finances, or other challenges du jour? Would those situations be much improved today?
We are told to trust God for the things we want, but can He trust us with the things He wants to give us? Let me give you a few examples:
- Are we praying to win Lotto but we can’t manage our money well enough to save for an emergency fund?
- Are we asking God for a promotion but are coming to work late and taking long lunches?
- Are we asking for a partner, a business success, a “fill-in-the-blank,” but we’re not doing our part or worse, are doing nothing?
Here’s what I’m learning. It is not that God doesn’t want me to have the things I want or that He doesn’t want to see me fulfill His purpose. Quite the contrary. But if I am not being trustworthy with a little, I can’t expect Him to trust me with a lot. That’s what He said in Luke 16:10, and as we know, God’s actions always match His Word. He can always be trusted.
I’d like to encourage you this week to make a list of the things you’ve been praying about. Then next to each one, write the reason why you think you may not have received it yet. I’ll bet, like me, you’ll discover that perhaps you need to up your trustworthiness quotient with God. Be consistent in your faith. Forgive those who need forgiveness. Be excellent in your work. Put a budget together.
When God can trust you with these little things, you can be sure that a trip to the mall is in your future.