Trusting Tuesdays {Oneword365}: Can fleeces be used to check the future?

I knew I’d move to China. The question was one of timing. When? When was the time to pull the plug on teaching math to junior highers? Tell my most-fun-on-the-planet roommate the fun was over? Pack up my stuff and get on a big plane?

It was all so exciting! And overwhelming. When? When? When? God and I chatted. Fleeces worked for Gideon, so I thought I’d try my own. Since animal skins weren’t big in my life, I offered two signs that it would be impossible for me to miss. Impossible. Once they happened, I’d know it was time to go.

Amy circa 1993: OK, God, when the Broncos win the Superbowl (American football) and the Kansas Jayhawks win the National Champion (college basketball), I will know it’s time to go to China.

God circa two minutes later: Oh my precious foolish child, guess again.

trust january 2

As history would have it, after four losses in the Superbowl during my childhood and early adulthood, the Broncos did indeed win two Superbowls back to back in the late 90′s while I watched them from a Thai hotel room, complete with Thai, not super cool Superbowl, commercials. And the Jayhawks won a National Championship as I huddled over a computer in Beijing, frantically calling my friend in the States when the internet went out with five minutes left in the game. {To this day Kim, thank you thank you thank you! Best color commentary ever.}

Over the years, whenever I have been in the U.S., both the Jayhawks and the Broncos have been pitiful.

Pitiful.

I have never watched a Broncos Superbowl game with my dad. As much as I hate it, time is running out for us. He’s aging, Do you know how much I hate facing some realities?

As I have thought about this “trust” post, I have tossed around ideas, but none that came together. I put pressure on myself for this to be out of the ballpark and so impressive you forward it and can’t wait to see how the idea of trust develops, starring your calendars for the third Tuesday in February. And therein lies one of two lessons I’m learning about trust.

Trust cannot be forced. The Greek word for “trust” is the same word we use for “faith,” pisteuo and appears in about 30 passages in the New Testament. While I find this poetic, it raises questions and creates ambiguity.  Maybe for you too. Faith and trust can be invited and fostered. They can even be squelched, but they can’t be forced. So I sat and prayed and waited. What came was football.

Just as trust can’t be forced, she also doesn’t focus on the immediate. How many in the Bible needed to hold the long view as they lived in the day-to-day?

I see Joseph abandoned in a jail.

Esther hosting a banquet, knowing she may die.

Ruth risking by exposing Boaz’s feet.

Paul willing to spend several years earning the trust of the disciples and apostles after his conversion.

Name one prophet who didn’t have the long view in mind. I can’t. 

We do not live in biblical stories. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live in God infused stories that often need the long view too.

My family is still waiting for medical test results. I’m continue to wait to hear on a potential job. I haven’t yet caught the eye of a writing agent.

Football wasn’t the profound illustration I was hoping for when it comes to trust. How about a near death experience? A miraculous healing?

Instead, God has kept the lessons this month rooted in reality. My reality, my story, and my interests. As I prepare to watch the Broncos with my dad on February 2nd, it is still not a given we will get to be in the same country and space for a Superbowl victory. But there is hope.

January has whispered another truth. Trust uses both hands. She holds the present in one hand and the long view in the other.

 

Question for reflection:  Where are you being asked to have the long view on trust? What have you been learning this month about your oneword?

::

Welcome to the Trusting Tuesday {Oneword365 monthly} linkup, a place for a small dose of accountability and a big dose of cheerleading on your Oneword365 journey. If you’re here for the first time, click here for more information.

Please include the Trusting Tuesday button (grab the code below) or a link in your post, so your readers know where to find the community if they want to join in — thank you!

Please also try to visit and leave some friendly encouragement in the comment box of at least one other #TrustingTuesday participant. And if you want to tweet about the community, please use the #TrustingTuesday hashtag.

Thank you — I am so grateful that you are here! And see you the third Tuesday of February.

Trusting Tuesdays button (Mobile)

<a border=”0″ href=”http://messymiddle/” target=”_blank”> <img src=”http://www.messymiddle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Trusting-Tuesdays-button-Mobile.jpg”/></a>

Comments

  1. I love this post. I love all references to Gideon. :)I also love your two lessons on trust. I want to participate in this link up, but I am traveling now so I will have to wait until,Feb. I love the long and short view in both hands: The future feels like an abyss of endless possibilities and I,feel a little paralyzee. But I can go on if I keep the long v iew (Your Kingdom come)and the short view (if today you hear His voice)in mind. As for my word, raw, I told my mom all the messy details of my current struggles when I wanted to pretend to be ok, and she really appreciated it. I also reigned in my fix problem instincts and sat with a student as she cried and let things just stay raw until she started talking about how to move forward herself. But I totally missed a great opportunity to be raw with another close friend about my insecurities. Praying for the courage to take more opportunities in future.

  2. A great place to start! Trust is almost always about the long-view, isn’t it?! My long-view is my life. I suppose the biggest one is my daughter. Someday she will be an adult! But one day at a time, one moment at a time, I try to be faithful not only in her raising, but in loving my husband, doing my work, serving my God. Today is all I have. Thanks, Amy! Go Broncos!
    Carey recently posted…Acting on TrustMy Profile

  3. I love that statement about holding the present in one hand and the long view in the other! That’s easy to remember :) and hopefully that will help with applying it!
    Anna Craig recently posted…Rest for your SoulsMy Profile

  4. Mark Allman says:

    Amy,
    I have at times been tempted to use a fleece but over time have been convinced that doing so shows a lack of trust and faith. Although Gideon used a fleece and not just once but twice I doubt God was pleased at all. God had already appeared to him as an angel and consumed a sacrifice with fire and told Gideon that he would use him. Gideon asked for more. I try never to “put out a fleece” of any kind. I think we need to be obedient to God’s word and then make good decisions based on information we have and trust that God will step in if need be.

    I think at times we do this to not only God but to others and I think people are insulted as well when we “put out a fleece” on them asking them to prove one thing or another.

    I know at times it is difficult to trust God and to want confirmation but if everything is confirmed what use would there be of faith. We cannot live our lives with everything confirmed. If it was it would be pretty boring. Trusting God and relishing the journey as we meet up with it day by day can be awesome.

  5. Patti Woodward says:

    Amy, you are such a gifted writer. I wanted you to know I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time with your dad. Much love and peace to you.
    Patti

  6. Trust is such learned and developed quality, isn’t it? I enjoyed hearing a bit of your journey in risk-taking and trusting God. Thanks for hosting the monthly link-up!
    Abby on the Stairs recently posted…Choosing Plenty Instead of GuiltyMy Profile

  7. My friend David Lai left this comment on FB and I wanted to share it here: I hope someday I can get a CD featuring hymns sung by a choir, like what you are about to hear. I love this kind of recordings.
    PS, sharing this under the theme of “trust”, inspired by Amy Young’s blog posts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv_a4v6b3QI
    Enjoy this hymn!!

    (p.s. he’s a gifted, gifted musician who happens to be a blind Chinese teen age boy)
    Amy recently posted…Trusting Tuesdays {Oneword365}: Can fleeces be used to check the future?My Profile

  8. Hi Amy,

    I came across your blog through the One Word 365 blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have a blog, so I’m just going to comment. My word for 2014 is trust too. It’s a hard word for me to stick with and trust God with! I’m looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

    It ecites me that the meaning of trust is alos faith…

    Greeting from England,
    Louise

    • Louise, comments are welcome, blogs are not necessary :). Glad you’re on this journey with us and look forward to your comment next month. Amy

Trackbacks

  1. […] Linking with Trusting Tuesday […]

  2. […] linking up today with Amy at the Messy Middle for Trusting Tuesdays where some folks are talking about what they are learning so far from their one word.  Anyone is […]

Leave a Comment

*

CommentLuv badge