I’ve never heard the words spoken to my heart with more clarity, nor were they ever accompanied by a stronger indictment of stinging conviction. I was sitting on the steps of my apartment in the shade of a small evergreen growing up next to my window, feeling dejected and worthless because I had just paid my rent…with my parents’ money. I tried to convince myself that I fought it so hard because I didn’t like being a burden on their resources, that I didn’t want to make them go out of their way for me (though, that was a small part of it).
The real reason was that I disliked not being self-sufficient. It hurt my pride to rely on someone else’s help to provide for my needs. I wasn’t upset wholly for the well-being of my parents – I was upset because my pride had taken a blow. All the while I had been pretending to rely on God, believing the lie that I wanted the loan check to come in only so I could praise God for His provision. No, I wanted it to come in because I badly wanted to keep my pride intact.
What made me realize this? The chickadee that flitted onto the branch over my head as I sat there bemoaning my shortcomings. Instantly, conviction overwhelmed me.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:27)
As I stood under the tree watching this tiny bird fly from branch to branch, my disobedience so clear – all my pretensions of trusting God were a clever disguise for trusting in myself. That tiny bird was much wiser than I, and much more faithful.
After he finished rebuking me with his song of praise to God’s faithfulness, as if he knew he had convinced me, he left to go trust God somewhere else. I stood for a moment, watching him fly away, and came inside to fall on my knees and confess my pride to God, begging that He would help the trust bird lesson sink into my heart and memory.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“Trust Him!” the bird seemed to say.
“Trust me,” He said patiently, quietly, and with all the force of a divine command. “Trust me.”
I hope you will. By God’s grace, and thanks to the chickadee in the evergreen, I will.
Praise God for His unfailing faithfulness and his abundant provision. Praise God for being oh so worthy of my trust! Praise God!
** I wrote this about mid-afternoon yesterday. Just a few hours later I found in my mailbox an unsolicited, unexpected check from a generous friend. “Trust me,” He repeated.