Thursday, July 21, 2016
God the Massage Therapist
(I am not talking about trusting Christ for salvation. That I have done and I hope you have, too. I am talking about trusting Christ in the day-to-day details of life.)
In the last 10 1/2 weeks that I have been sick, God has been teaching me about the purpose of trials, His comfort, hope, encouraging others, humbleness, healing and so many other things. None of them have I learned completely - there is still much room for God to grow me!
One area that I have been reluctant to venture into is trust. Why? Because to me, trust equals risk of crashing. It is the same reason I struggle with hoping - because of the risk of disappointment (hopefully more on that in a later post.)
But as this sickness has dragged on without anyone knowing for sure what it is or when/if it will get better, my mind going into a tailspin of anxious thoughts, until lately - finally - I've been willing to address the topic of trust that God has been bringing to the forefront of my mind more and more often.
Yesterday I was at the massage therapist. I hadn't been to see her before. And as I was lying there, this analogy came to mind:
We go to the massage therapist and, even though we're lying under a blanket, we're stripped to practically nothing, with a stranger, with the door closed. That makes us very vulnerable. I feel like trust makes me very vulnerable. Just like I am trusting the massage therapist to not take advantage of me (or laugh at me!) trusting God says, "Here I am, all of me; nothing hidden. I trust You to take good care of me."
Then the massage therapist starts working on our muscles, and we assume they know what they're doing. We assume they've been trained, and did well, and have experience. I also need to trust God that He knows what He's doing. I've got to relinquish myself into His fully capable hands, and trust that even though I don't always understand His techniques, that He knows better than me what is best for me.
The first two points are usually fairly easy to do when the massage is simply a relaxation massage. But those therapeutic massages - now sometimes those hurt! It hurt yesterday when she massaged me and I'm sore today. But I knew, from past experience and from trusting her, that the pain was good for me. In the same way, I need to trust God that the painful (or scary, numb, etc) times that He allows me to be in are for my good. I need to remember that He is working in ways I cannot see, and to trust that He's turning my hard times into good results for me.
Thankfully we can know that "You [O Lord] are good and do good..." (Psalm 119:68). We are safe with Him. Thankfully, kind of like a massage therapist has a diploma, we have God's Word (The Holy Bible). It is full of proof that God knows what He's doing. And we can "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:2-3).
I also think that there must be an element of trusting God that, just like a massage where you relinquish your tired body into the capable therapist's hands, is relaxing. A sense of giving over the responsibility to Someone who can take care of things better than me. I know I definitely feel that way about having trusted God for my salvation. That is a not a weight I want on my shoulders. So I'm thinking there must also be that same sense of relief in the day-to-day stresses. Just like I don't want (and thankfully don't have) the responsibility of getting myself to heaven, why would I want to resist and hang on to my everyday struggles, not trusting that God can take care of them? That only gives me "sore muscles"!