I recently started a post series called ‘Way of Peace’, which I really hope people will enjoy reading as much as I’m enjoying thinking and writing about it. I started by posting about the Lord’s Prayer – I find that saying it helps me to put my trust in God, which in turn has the power to bring me peace in all situations.
This childlike trust in God requires humility, though. It requires me to admit that I don’t have it all sorted, and to acknowledge my dependence on Him. We like to think we can take care of ourselves, to feel we have made a success of our lives, to think we know best about how our lives should go. But the truth of the matter is that we all need help sometimes – no man is an island, right? To own up to this is really quite freeing.
It’s not that we abandon our dreams and ambitions or stop trying to be better or to achieve – it’s just that we have a different starting point for these things, a starting point of knowing we are part of something greater, of knowing we are of value already, of knowing that we have a Helper for whom nothing is impossible.
Humble trust can be hardest when something happens that we didn’t think should happen: accepting tough situations and looking for God’s goodness in them can be very painful. Ann Voskamp* uses the imagery of an open hand rather than a closed fist. We hold our hands open to God, trusting that He gives good gifts and can bring good out of even the most terrible of experiences.
The thing about that open-handed, open-eyed humility is that it also allows us to be open to wonder and joy like a child, or as Ann Voskamp puts it, to ‘be surprised by joy’. We are not walking through life thinking about what we have a right to, but with hearts that easily fill with gratitude and contentment.
And for those of you who like my ‘Small Things’ posts, here are some of the little gifts I’ve been ‘wondering at’ this week…
*All the Ann Voskamp references in these posts come from the book, One Thousand Gifts.