Carpet Wrestling

I used to bristle when people used the phrase, “Just trust the Lord.” It would pop up now and again when someone was going through a time of strain or difficulty in their lives. That person would share their struggle with another person, and the other person would pat them knowingly on the shoulder and say, “You just need to trust the Lord.”

I hated that.

I hated it because it seemed like an absurdly trite answer to the struggles of life. Cancer? Trust the Lord. Don’t like your job? Trust the Lord. Having financial difficulty? Trust the Lord. I thought there had to be something deeper to it than that – nobody can “just trust the Lord.” Where’s the angst? Where’s the struggle? Where’s finger-pointing and the tears and the wrestling?

I don’t hate it any more, because as it turns out, it’s not trite to trust the Lord. Who knew?

That’s not to say that trusting the Lord is devoid of wrestling and finger pointing. It’s not to say its without angst and questions. In fact, the brand of trust that is completely without those things might indeed be trite.

But with those things – it becomes a little like carpet wrestling. That’s what me and Joshua are doing alot of right now. He creates a persona – the Sharp Lizard or Thunder Bomb – then takes off his shirt and we wrestle. From my perspective, it’s not much of a battle (at least not yet). I know I’m going to win. But we still wrestle, because for us, wrestling is about intimacy. It’s something we do together.

Not to stretch the illustration too thinly, but when we wrestle with the Lord as Christians, we can’t really be expecting to win. In fact, righteous wrestling doesn’t have winning as its goal. It’s grappling in the midst of trusting; it’s wrestling in the midst of believing; it’s battling in the midst of faith. Or as Augustine put it, it’s faith seeking understanding.

After all that wrestling, though, you come back to what you started with in the beginning: trust.

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  • Heather says:

    Ok, this is kind of a late comment, but I still think I dislike that response. Not because it isn’t true, as you said. But because it’s usually given as the only answer. Nothing about questioning, or even doubting, or an acknowledgment that the situation might be awful. It’s often a cop out answer – I don’t really want to discuss this with you, so I’ll give you a quick answer that sounds good (and is technically true) and maybe it will all be better then.

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