At Kardia, we have five stages to our planning. The second stage is the Clarify stage. It is designed to gather all information about your finances and your planning to date. The emphasis is on gaining clarity about your current situation. It is always amazing to me how surprised clients are when they see everything together at once what the result will be if nothing changes. Once we understand what you are currently doing and how you are and also may not be solving your objectives, we have a strong basis for creating a plan. It is so important that we get all the details and we spend a fair amount of time digging until we do. We can then say we have “clarity” about your current situation.
In business and planning clarity is very important and necessary in order to create solutions that are relevant and timely. In God’s world, clarity is not important. You might ask me why? To answer that question I will have to go over three terms that are prevalent in the Bible: Faith, Hope and Trust.
Soren Kierkegaards comments, “Life is lived forward and understood backward.” You might rephrase that, “living life through hope which is understood through faith.”
Dennis Rainey tells the story of a missionary family home on furlough, staying at a lake house of a friend. On the day in question, Dad was puttering in the boathouse, Mom in the kitchen, and three children, ages four, seven, and twelve, were on the lawn. Four-year old Billy escaped his oldest sister’s watchful eye and wandered down to the wooden dock. The shiny aluminum boat caught his eye, but unsteady feet landed him in eight-foot-deep water.
When the twelve-year-old screamed, Dad came running out. Realizing what had happened, he dove into the murky depths. Frantically he felt for his son, but twice, out of breath, he had to return to the surface. Filling his lungs once more, he dove down and found Billy clinging to a wooden pier several feet under. Prying the boy’s finger loose, he bolted to the surface with Billy in his arms.
Safely ashore, his father asked, “Billy, what were you doing down there?” The little one replied, “Just waitin’ on you, Dad, just waitin’ on you.” Since he had a history with his father (faith), he felt safe, protected and accepted. He also had hope that his father would come get him.
Another story demonstrates the faithfulness of Jesus.
A story told in Brennan Manning’s book Ruthless Trust demonstrates how that faithfulness works. His publisher was driving down a highway in New Jersey when one hundred yards ahead, in the same lane, a Lincoln Town Car’s door opens while still moving and the passenger throws a collie out of the door to the pavement. The dog hits the road and rolls into a ditch. Bleeding profusely, the collie got up and started to run after the car! His relentless faithfulness was not conditioned or diminished by the abuse and callous disregard of his master.
You might want to call Jesus’s fidelity a dogged fidelity in the face of our indifference at times and our rampant un-gratitude for his faithfulness, but we know this and live our lives with faith in it and hope in His promises as a result. Why is it that we lack trust in those promises?
I believe it is because we are looking for clarity before we trust. I have on my refrigerator in the office, “We plan, God laughs.” God is not looking to us to know all that he has planned for us. He wants us to simply trust Him despite our pain, suffering, and things that don’t make sense. He wants us to trust Him in everything no matter what. That trust will be rewarded with far more joy and contentment than anything that we could do ourselves.
Our human, or sinful nature is that we should always be in control to achieve joy. God’s sense is that He wants to be in control and can assure our joy if we simply trust Him. That being said, Brennan Manning throws an iron in the fire of trust, “There can be no faith without doubt, no hope without anxiety, and no trust without worry.” We cannot control these things because they are not voluntary, but we can overpower them with trust,
“Jesus, by your grace I grow still for a moment and I hear you…Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid, I am with you always and I love you.”
We are called to childhood abandonment in trust. I have struggled with this for years, but am achieving some success by allowing the Spirit to lead my life. I came to this by admitting to God my own weakness and asking for His grace. Paul says that God’s power works best in our weakness. The secret to trust is to live in the moment with absolute trust that God has your back and knows what you need. More on this later…
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.