I got a pedicure once. I thought I was going to die.
A friend invited me. I had never had one, so I thought “why not?”
I sat on the pedi – throne and put my feet in the warm soak. Then the harvesting began. Tools to clip. Tools to scrape, Tools to carve. My foot fields were ripe. But I’m also ticklish. At inappropriate moments I jerked, involuntary responses like my dog’s leg when I touch her tickle spot. I smiled and apologized. The pedicurist smiled and said it was ok.
My friend and I chatted. Actually, my friend talked. But there was a person “working” on my feet. It made me uncomfortable. I never relaxed. I felt like I should talk with the pedicurist too, include her in our conversation. I wanted to help. From my angle, my feet and nails looked fine. I was conflicted. So I told her they look great and I was fine with her moving on to doing the nail polish.
My friends tell me pedicures relax them. They sit back on the throne and enjoy the warmth of the soak. The pedicurist works miracles on heels and toes. Artistry emerges in beautiful designs of stripes and dots and flowers on their nails. If only I could have sat back and trusted my pedicurist.
But I could not. I felt like I should help. And, I didn’t really trust that she would take care of my toes.
In a most odd observation, I recently realized that my attempted pedicure is similar to my life in Christ. Truly. I place something in His care, but then feel the need to “help” Him. From my angle, I believe I can assist. My contributions, however, rarely move the mission forward.
I need to learn to steadfastly lean on God. When I do, three benefits of trust bless my days.
When I have complete trust in God, His peace that passes all understand fills my soul (Philippians 4:6-7). Corrie ten Boom talked about trust in God often. In my favorite comment from her, she said “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” I need to trust the divine Engineer. I yearn for this peace.
When I have complete trust in God, community builds in my life. Trust, by its very nature, is community. To have others in our lives, including God and one another, is to experience trust. It’s the core of relationship. Jesus prayed for our community and unity in His final hours in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 15:20-24). May we grow to trust the Lord more as well as learn to lean on one another more.
When I plant bulbs in the Fall, I do not check them the next week to see if roots have sprouted. I don’t remove the mulch and check for grubs. I plant them, water them, and trust that they will emerge in the Spring. And, yes, voila! They do indeed emerge.
Beauty blooms with our trust in God. Effortlessly He clothes the lilies of the field and satisfies the smallest sparrow (Matthew 6:25-34). Likewise we can trust God with our needs. Any other response to God’s goodness would be a most grievous sin. Let’s move beyond worry and bask in the beauty as the Lord reveals His masterful plan.
Benefits of Trust
Peace, community, and beauty. And, yet, I struggle. Does God really see my friend’s pain? Does He hear the cries of children starving? When will He respond to injustices against the poor? But, then, I see His hand. Healing takes place. Food arrives. The corrupt go to prison and the slave is freed.
I must confess, however, that my trust still wavers. Although I experience the beauty of God’s presence, I struggle with the pace of His responses. They’re too slow. I’m restless. In my head I know His ways are best, but my heart breaks for the pain and loss that crosses my community daily.
As Solomon decreed, I want to trust in the Lord with all of my heart (Proverbs 3:5). But my heart is weak and my will is strong. More than the Lord, I instead lean on my own understanding. Forgive my stubbornness, O Lord, I pray!
Each morning I begin again, in mercies renewed. I acknowledge Him and rejoice in His presence (Proverbs 3:6). Each bend in the road that straightens, every obstacle that smooths, and every companion who joins my journey… in these I discover my trust is growing.
I’m learning to wait.
(Maybe I’ll get a pedicure to ponder some more. But then, probably not.)
Posted by Sharon R Hoover