“I can’t wait until I grow up because then I can do whatever I want!”
I vividly remember saying this to my mother – on more than one occasion. It felt like all the rules and the chores were specifically designed to make my life miserable. Adulthood seemed to offer the freedom for which I longed, the chance to make my own rules and do what I wanted. I have no idea what I thought that was, but it was going to be great!
Fast forward 30 years, and now what do I say? “Man, I wish I could be a kid again.” The biggest thing I had to worry about was getting picked for the best kickball team at recess. No bills to pay, no furnace to fix, no yard to mow.
Sometimes what we think will bring us freedom leaves us sorely disappointed, or worse. Sometimes, instead of trusting God’s plan for our lives, we charge ahead and try to handle life on our own. But, as we see in Genesis, God’s plan from the very beginning was to give us life and freedom beyond what we can imagine, if only we would trust him.
8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Two trees. One represents the life that God desires to give us. The other represents an invitation to trust him. Together they offer the freedom to live in complete harmony with our Maker.
So, what went wrong? In a moment of weakness (with the help of a duplicitous enemy), Adam and Eve stopped trusting God and his goodness. They decided to try a different path, one of their own making. And in an instant, something was lost. They went from a place of knowing God to hiding from him. From living in freedom to living in fear. From a place of purpose to a place of shame. And from making a difference to making excuses.
I want to be so mad at them! They ruined it for everyone! But the truth is we do the same thing every day. And every time we try to do life our way instead of trusting God, we lose something. What we thought would bring freedom leaves us sorely disappointed, every time. However, when we move from trying to trusting, freedom grows.
Have you ever turned down God’s invitation to trust him? How did that turn out for you?
Do you really believe that God has your best interest at heart?
Identify some areas in your life where you are trying your own way instead of trusting God. Begin praying for God to show you how to hand the control back over to him.
God, forgive me every time I stop trusting you, thinking that my way is better. Help me to see different challenges as invitations to trust you instead of barriers or limitations. I know I can trust you; help me to live that out day to day. Amen.
This post was written by Rochelle Sikora. Rochelle is a wife, mother of two, and writer and editor for the LivingItOut. She is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in ministry through Wesley Seminary.
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