Do You Trust yet have a Backup Plan?

childrens sermonEverybody knows the story of Jesus calling the children to Him. It’s one of our favorite images, an infinitely calm, patient Jesus surrounded by squirmy kids in an idyllic children’s sermon.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Luke 18:16)

But there’s a piece of this verse I tend to brush aside—the part about the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Those little children were dependent and trusting. They assumed their needs would be met. They didn’t have a Plan B if the adults in their lives failed to come through.

Jesus says folks with these attitudes inherit the kingdom of God. I’d rather skip that part.

See, I don’t want to be quite that dependent. I trust God completely, but I want a backup plan in case things don’t quite work out like I planned. I believe He’s in control, but I want to know I can pick up the pieces if it begins to fall apart.

If I’m honest, everything about my behavior as a follower of Jesus seems to end with “…but…”

I’ve been to that place of complete dependence, the place where I knew I needed a God bigger than me because nothing I could do would ever fix the mess I’d created. It’s the story of Relentless Grace. I trusted God because I had no other choice, and He came through.

You’d think that would be enough. You’d think the son who rebelled, crawled home, and was welcomed with the open arms of grace wouldn’t turn into the hard-hearted older son. But…

I wish I had an answer. I wish I could say I’ll stop hedging my bets. I wish one part of me didn’t trust God while another makes a god of my own feeble capabilities.

I get really frustrated about my inability to do what I know is right. Sometimes I think about giving up. Then I picture an infinitely calm, patient Jesus putting His arm around me.

“Don’t quit, Rich. We’ll get there together.”

THAT’S my backup plan.

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