But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands…”
I came across this passage as I was reading the Psalms the other day and this small cluster of words stood out and danced on the page in front of me. I knew the Lord was speaking to me through these ancient words written by a desperate and fumbling king steeped in fear and restless uncertainty. I found zero immediate comfort here. It wasn’t the part about trusting him that bothered me, it was the “But” that sat right before those beautiful words. “But what” I thought to myself. Obviously I had just read David’s scenario and it wasn’t pretty. So what was mine? What was my “but”? These words felt like a doomsday warning. In a sense, depending on how I frame them, they kind of were.
Within hours it seemed as though the wheels were coming off of everything! I saw a meme with a picture of a car loosing its tire and it read “Not that wheel, Jesus!” and that’s exactly how I felt. Take the steering wheel, not the tires! My “buts” were showing up everywhere!
It’s been a tough few weeks filled with buts and the times that are hard on me usually impact my child and that’s when I really get upset. When it’s her heart at stake, my but usually turns into an “anything BUT her heart” plea. That’s a huge confession from me. I don’t really like to talk about this one. This life of ministry and shepherding feels like a zero sum game a lot of the time and it tugs and pulls, not just on Dad and Mom but no matter how hard we try to protect, it tugs on the heart of our child as well.
As we sat discussing things that required a great deal of conversation and processing, she looked at me with big tears in her eyes and she said “I know one thing for sure, when I grow up, I do not want to work in a church!” Her words were like glass ripping through my soul. I have a constant fear that the ugly, hard, painful bits of what it means to do life together as a broken people will outweigh the beautiful, wonderful, life giving, redemptive side and not only will she not want to work in a church; my fear is that she won’t want to be part of one at all.
In all of these things, I heard his words echo sharp and strong, “Your future is in my hands and so is hers.” I realized his words were never meant to insight fear but rather they were a prompting to let go; an assurance that it’s ok for the wheels to fall off because the future is his.
The hardest thing to trust God with is my child. I want to hold her tight and push everything out, including the hard things that God wants to do in her but the reality is, her future is in his hands just the same as mine. The truth is, she’s not mine at all. She is his. Those are beautiful and comforting words during baby dedication when your child is nestled in your arms, but when the growing pains hit and the rubber meets the road they are some of the hardest words to keep offering up.
As God leads us and directs us and takes into account all of the things that impact us, the sigh of relief is that our future is his and because of that, it is well! The very next chapter in the Psalms says “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” Psalm 32:8. I’ve picked some pretty darn good paths for myself, but not the best path. I’ve picked out wonderful paths for my husband and my child, but never the best one. The best path requires a letting go. It requires the wheels to come off sometimes so that we can slow down enough to walk the best path rather than cruise comfortably along a good one that will undoubtedly lead to broken ones.
My future is in his hands and that’s such a powerful place for it to be because he’s already mapped out the best road on the journey! Letting go is hard! Watching your kid walk through hard things with you is agonizing but all the while he whispers, “All of your times are in my hands!” I will make a conscious choice to walk in that truth and when I can’t, I’ll thrash around in his great big arms. I will woller my face in his infinite chest and I will cry out to him. I will let go of all the things I’m holding onto so that I can cling to him.