If I’ve learned anything about trusting the Lord in my 35 years of life, it’s that I still have a lot to learn about trusting the Lord.
For some reason, whenever I come out on the backside of a trial, I am naïve enough to think that after having learned to trust God in that circumstance, I will surely have no difficulties with trusting Him in the future. But then along comes a different unexpected circumstance, and too often I am surprised by my lack of faith, as I find myself wildly groping about for all my self-made crutches, brainstorming secular solutions and free falling into anxiety.
Up rises the skeptic of my soul to question God yet again: You were big enough for that last problem I had, but are You really big enough for this one? Just in case You hadn’t noticed, it’s a new problem, Lord. This one’s extra hard and scary. Can You really handle it? Are You sure You don’t need help from me on this one?
It’s a question as old as Eden. Hath God really said? Can He really be believed? Does He really know what’s best? And too often I am swayed by these whispers of doubt, and bite hard into the apple of anxiety.
To recognize the echo of Eve in my soul is humbling.
By definition, trust requires one to let go, and by nature, we humans are tight-fisted. Trusting God means admitting that I don’t have it all together. That I’m not as self-sufficient as I liked to imagine. That I have lost control. That I lack wisdom. That behind the strong, capable exterior I may have projected, I am actually weak and needy.
There is a killing of pride and self that must occur when I make the decision to trust God, and no matter how you look at it, killing always hurts. And in the case of trust, it seems like it often has to happen more than once in a given situation. As Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31), and as Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24).
But there’s an encouraging side to this, too. Though letting go to lean into trust is always hard, it also gets easier. The more times I’ve peeled back the fingers of my white knuckled hold on whatever it is that I’m trying to handle on my own and can’t, the more times I have proven the goodness and mercy of God. The longer the list of times I have chosen to lean hard on Him instead of my self, the harder it is to resist doing it again.
When I look back, I remember…
that time He provided for my unspoken needs,
that time He moved a figurative mountain,
that time He gave grace to accept,
that time He gave a miracle,
that time He brought beauty from ashes,
that time when He transformed fear into anticipation,
that time He took away something that I did not recognize as harmful until after the fact,
that time He had far more beautiful things in store for me than I could ever have imagined.
The overriding truth is that, in each circumstance, no matter what the outcome, He was always faithful, and proved yet again that He was worthy of my trust.
Today, looking back on what has been proven and looking forward to what is yet unknown, I rest on the assurance that He is enough.
“…the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6)
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)