Trusting My Assistant More than God

Last week, while driving back to Orlando from one of our coastal hospitals, I got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 4 for about 40 minutes or so. Fortunately I was listening to a very interesting, and very long, audio message by Otto Koning, a missionary to Indonesia. Most of the message was about surrender, and he was making a point about surrendering our time to God when I hit the traffic jam. It seemed providential, which caused me to focus more intently on the message over the remainder of the commute.

Sometime later Otto made the point that we often pray repeatedly for some particular issue or cause, as if praying a lot would make it more likely for God to hear and answer. Not likely according to Otto. He suggested we’d be better off praying and asking clearly once for our desires while also surrendering the outcome to God. His points were that we can trust God to hear us and to know what is best in every situation, and that by praying once and surrendering to his will, we demonstrate our faith.

It made sense to me, because I could see myself in his story. I often pray for the same thing over and over. I know it’s because I’m anxious, worried about how things will turn out. Yes, I haven’t surrendered my will to God’s will. I have trouble with that, but at least I can admit the problem. I might even pray something like this, God you know this prayer is about me. I know you’ve heard me ask before. I know that you have a plan, but I’m still worried. It helps me to ask you again. You don’t need this prayer but I do.  Please increase my faith and take away my fear. Anyway, while I was in the car listening, I thought, “Otto’s right. I do need to ask less often and just rest in God’s care more.”

The next day back in the office, my assistant, Mayra, caught me up on a few tasks she had completed on my behalf the previous day. Now, Mayra is a delightful person whom I rely on to manage my calendar among other things. Typically, I ask her to arrange many meetings a day, specifying the attendees, the topic and the urgency. Once the request is made, I leave it to her. She either gets it on the calendar (most commonly) or comes back to talk about and resolve any scheduling difficulties. The point being that I never worry about Mayra handling things, which was the very point that hit me then as Mayra was leaving my office.

This stimulated much thinking. Hmm… Can it be that I trust my assistant more than I trust God? That doesn’t seem right. Of course I can trust Mayra. She just manages little things for me. If something goes wrong it’s not a disaster. I’m asking God about the big things. Yes, but God has all knowledge and all power and is incapable of making a mistake. True, but I have experience of Mayra, day-in and day-out, meeting my requirements.   God is invisible. How do I know if he is working? Again yes, but when has God failed me? Does God lie? Can he break a promise? And haven’t I seen God answer my many prayers (even if slower than I would like)? …

After some consideration, I concluded that I have been trusting God much too little. I should have greater faith; I want to have greater faith; I will have greater faith! Can I control that? To a large extent, I think so. Having trust or faith is an act of will. As humans, we decide whom we will trust. Or not. We may choose to trust those who are not deserving of it, or choose not trust those who are. Only God is completely trustworthy, and I have decided to trust him more. I choose to trust God, and I trust the Holy Spirit to help me in that regard.

 

P.S. – You can find many audio and video presentations by Otto Koning here. They are well worth your time.

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Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:7-11

Comments

  1. Dan Tesenair says:

    I am going through (somewhat) of a family crisis right now and have some hefty decisions that need to be made. I find myself praying for guidance and wisdom many times daily and often about the same thing. My challenge, however, isn’t that God hasn’t heard my prayers or is in control my situation. My challenge is that I am not surrendering my will to His and trusting in his sovereignty, mercy and grace. I think I need to stop asking God to do something and start thanking Him for what He’s doing and what He has done. Thank you for sharing your story, Dr. Weiss.

  2. Peter Weiss says:

    Hi Dan. I’m sorry for your trouble and hope all goes well for you and your family. Keep the faith!
    Pete

  3. Kathleen Johnson says:

    Thank you! Just want I most needed to hear!! I have asked He knows now I Trust in Him to know what I truly need!

    • Peter Weiss says:

      You’re welcome Kathleen. It’s cool how God worked it out for me to post something that you needed to hear!
      Pete