God’s Hands Accomplish All Good Things
We read in Scripture about a young man who longed for something more in life. When Jesus hinted that he had just what the young man was seeking, the young man appeared quite interested. But then Jesus said, “Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, and then follow me.” It was then that the young man hesitated. He could not let go of his possessions and trust that Jesus was enough.
In the life of every believer, Jesus hopes to be enough. It is not because Jesus needs us to love him only. It is that he wants us to be always mindful that it is his Father’s love that brought us into the world. This same love also brings us to eternity where we will live and love God forever. Our eternal home is the final redeeming gift Jesus gives us. We can still love everyone else in our lives, but with this realization: we love others because Jesus’ Father loved us first.
Sometimes it is difficult to fathom what all this means because we are called to a future we cannot see, nor clearly understand. While here on earth, wealth, property, and affections provide a security we can touch, feel, and know.
What Jesus asks us, is to give these up to acquire him, whom we cannot fully comprehend. It is a moment of profound trust. Instead, for the young man and many others, it has the opposite effect. It is a moment filled with fear. We are asked to let go of what we control and feel comfortable with, for something intangible and unforeseeable. In the Old Testament, Abraham and Sarah, our ancestors in faith, were placed in this same position.
God promised Abraham that he would be “the father of a great nation with descendants more numerous that the stars in the heavens.” Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Abraham did not hesitate. He began preparing his son for the act God asked of him. He trusted. And when he did, God halted the sacrifice. Then, as promised, Abraham became the father of many descendants. Abraham truly gave up his control of everything he held close and God rewarded him, loving him even more.
In our lives, control is often our biggest and worst enemy. It is an obstacle for the rich young man and frequently ours too. When we wrap our arms around what we own, we feel safe and secure. We simply don’t what anyone tampering with what is ours, not even God.
Like Abraham we have to learn to trust a little more with each new day. Up to the moment God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God was faithful and good to him. Abraham saw this and was comfortable with God’s friendship. Why then would God suddenly turn against Abraham after all his kindnesses and love?
Abraham took the leap of faith and trusted God in this present moment too! Abraham knew a truthful and loving God, and so he had no fear. Unlike the rich young man, Abraham “sold all his possessions and followed his God.”
God looks to us for a similar response. He asks this reply from every present moment where a choice of “yes or no” exists. He wants our trust and not our fear, remembering like Abraham that it is the same loving and merciful God asking.
When a “yes or no” is before us and it’s a difficult choice, hear these words of Jesus: “For men it is impossible…but all things are possible for God.” Jesus is reminding us that salvation is always in God’s hands and never truly in ours. And for this we can be most grateful for God wants us with him, just as Abraham did, trusting in God’s capable hands.