We all remember the childhood fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, right? Yes these macabre medieval tales can be a bit strange, but story details aside, this one has recently meant a great deal to me. Bread crumbs.
All of us have the pleasure of relating to a wonderful God, but one who remains a bit elusive, if that's the right word. We see through the glass dimly. Finding God's will for us, and the path we are to take in life is just plain hard. We look for God's guiding hand in our circumstances because we put value in the physical symbols of his care. We all crave the mile markers of comfort, security, and the known.
And we look for patterns to follow. We ask others for advice. We go about trying to solve this Rubric's Cube, and we expect our reward at the end. A grand adventure on our part for sure, but isn't it more than just an end game that promises earthly success?
More importantly, it's got to be a crucial exercise - training us in how our Father will be known. I suspect this because of the nagging thought that he really DOES know us more than we give him credit for. He knows where we are in our path back to full redemption. He knows what of these circumstances and outcomes should encourage growth and give help, and conversely, which might bring us more harm and set us back in this holy process.
But back to bread crumbs. Hansel and Gretel followed these. They were simple instructions, given one at a time. Perhaps in God's wise spirit, "too much information" is dangerous, and purposefully keeps things simple for us. He wants to know the level of our faith. He wants to know how much we truly trust him. He doesn't want to overpower us with the complexity of it all. His message is simple, and his ways probably are as well. Much simpler than we think sometimes.
Him: "Will you trust me"?
Me: "But you don't understand, what about that ..."
Him: "I know. I will take care of it. Will you trust me?"
Him: "Here is a bread crumb. Follow me."
Envisioning this for me is a very good thing. It's simple instruction - question and answer, call and response, and it's is a valid point of contact, one that my spirit craves. I am so tired of unbelief, worldly cynicism, and feeling alone on this island. Then I see the bread crumb. I sense his nudging. I envision him beckoning to me.
I love the way the Lord boiled it down for Peter after his devastating denials. "Why did you DO that?!" wasn't the question (and most likely would have been what you or I would have demanded in that situation). Instead, he simply said "Do you love me"? A LOVING bread crumb.
Suddenly my own worries and concerns aren't so large. My vision and my reach doesn't stop with me and my efforts. I am not alone, trying to "make something happen".
Can you envision the Lord dropping the next bread crumb in front of you? Do you hear one in Dusty's words on Sunday morning? Does one fall to the ground after a disappointment you've experienced? Our job really is simple. Just pick it up. Then walk, trust, talk to God and find the next one. He will lead us. That's his promise.