February 13, 2015
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
For as long as I can remember, I have had this dream. I'm in a car, driving somewhere. Traffic is flowing quickly and smoothly. I feel comfortable behind the wheel and all is well. It must be a road trip because I find myself still behind the wheel after what seems like a while.
At some point during the dream, I realize that I am no longer in the driver's seat. I am either in the back seat laying down, or sitting in the passenger seat, and no one is driving. Immediately, I begin to panic and scramble to get to the driver's seat. But I almost never seem to gain back control of the car.
I have dreamed this dream so many times, I often wonder if this is a reflection of something going on in my life. Is God behind the wheel? And if so, am I such a control freak that I cannot comfortably allow God to be in control? When I look and don't see anyone, do my doubts keep me from remaining calm?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. On the same note, faith is the evidence of things not yet seen. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. He has engraved us on the palms of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). Just because we cannot see Him, doesn't mean is He isn't with us. Through faith, we believe that He is with us. Through faith, we trust that He is able to take care of us and be our hedge of protection. These dreams are symbolic of my relationship with God. I start with something in control, and in a comfort zone. I get tired, because doing the work of God is tiring when I do it on my own.
I allow God to have His rightful place as captain leading the way. Things are great, then I allow doubt and fear to get in my way. Rather than focus on God, I shift my focus to thoughts of, "Nobody is driving!" "How am I going to gain back control in time?"
How many times do we take surrender something to God, only to take it back for fear that we'll crash if we let Him keep leading us? I've done this more than I care to admit. "Lord, I submit this to you. Do what you will with it. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen." But then things don't go the way I expect them to go, or everything seems to be out of control, or better yet, I start to worry because things don't look like they're going to work out the way I expect them to. Whatever the reason, I quickly take back what I submit to God, in a desperate attempt to "fix" it.
It's almost like I say to God, "Whoa! What is going on? This is not at all what I expected....let me handle it!" When our expectations do not match our circumstances, we often freak out, and take back what we already submitted to God. In so doing, our hope is that we are able to salvage more comfortable and familiar ground.
The other day I heard an incredible message related to our comfort. The pastor said, "You cannot fulfill your calling in your comfort zone." Anyone else feel convicted by that statement? God has a purpose for for each of us. He wants us to follow Jesus and do His will. If we follow Jesus, He will lead us into that purpose He has called us to. Through our obedience, He promised to bless us. He wants to bless us. One thing God did not promise was comfort through this calling.
In reality, there's a sense of insecurity in the idea of being in a car barreling down a highway at 60+ miles per hour with "no one" appearing to be in the driver's seat. But with God, no matter how scary, He has given us assurance that when we just have faith and trust in Him, we will eventually come off the highway and arrive safely at our destination. We trust Him, no matter how scary and uncomfortable things may seem, remembering that our faith in Him has nothing to do with what we see, but everything to do with who He is and what He is able to do. He wants to move us from where we are, to where we are called to be. Are you willing to relinquish your control?