“Ahh! Salaam and good evening to you, worthy friend. Please, please, come closer,” our tween-aged daughter motioned with her hand.
From the movie Aladdin, she knew every word, every gesture, every accent and intonation. Suddenly she shot out a stiff arm, her hand like a rigid stop sign.
“Too close! A leeettle too close.”
Children absorb movie lines like sponges. Our kids made us laugh as they seamlessly went from Kronk in the Emporer’s New Groove, to warthog Pumbaa in Lion King, and then on to Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. How did that happen when school work seemed impossible to memorize?
I’ve been rehearsing in my memory a scene from the long ago animated Aladdin, one which my children loved to mimic. Standing on a flying carpet, Aladdin reached out, palm upward and invited the hesitant Princess to join him and see the world.
An outstretched hand. An invitation.
Never taking her eyes off of him, she slowly stretched out her hand to his.
I know why the reel keeps repeating in my brain. It is because the question whispers inside my heart from a distinctly different source. One Who is completely worthy asks within my concerns, “Do you trust Me?”
How I answer that question reveals what is truly dwelling inside.
Recently I’ve been convicted of a need to lay down some worries I’d been grasping in a tight fist. In the repeating tug and release, a friend stepped in with some advice. I wavered a bit between wanting to just vent and wanting real help.
Two replies fought in reaction. “Too close! A little too close!” While the other whispered in my ear, “Do you trust Me?”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)
“Philippians 4:8,” my friend said. “Memorize it.
Well, truth be told, I already know Philippians 4:8, and for a little arrogant moment, I kept the arm stiff. “Too close, a leeeetle too close,” I thought.
Nothing lacked in her advice, yet my first response held it and her at arm’s length. Whether or not I thought I needed it, she gave good counsel. Turns out I needed it.
I copied Philippians 4:8 on a card and carried it in my pocket all day. I put it in front of me on my desk. It sat on the window ledge when I washed dishes. I said it aloud as I walked. I memorized it…again… and filled my anxious thoughts with its truth.
I weighed what flooded my mind and emotions on a scale. Was it true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise?
Who Has God Used Recently in Your Life?
How often I am guilty of the “too close” stance when Jesus invites with a precious outstretched hand, reaching toward me through another. His faithful invitation asks for me to gaze at Him and no other. He waits for me to take a step forward and cling to Him alone.
Sometimes, God uses others to touch my heart His way.
It turned out, while I looked askew at my friend’s quick Bible fix, and for a moment let offense block my way, it didn’t hurt one bit to re-learn and re-absorb those intimate and precious words from God. It was exactly what I needed. Sometimes, God uses others to touch my heart His way. Click To Tweet
I can listen with pride and refuse to look past ready advice, when underlying it another Voice whispers, “Trust Me.” Have you ever done that? Or I can choose to trust that God may speak to me through others and listen for what He has to say.
Scripture brought back steady ground underneath. With truth in my mind, my emotions anchor. I am grateful for this admonition from my friend that took me to a place where I could hear God’s words.
“Do you trust Me?” He asks. And the voice is tender and good. Faithful and true.
You might also enjoy my recent article at Christianity.com,