Tag Archive: Trust

Okay, so I am noticing that God has to teach and then re-teach me the same lessons over and over and over.  I suppose I am not the only one.  But goodness, you would think I would just get it already!  For me, the core lesson (or the primary core lesson) seems to be about trusting God and believing He is good.  These are things I “know” in my head to be true.  I believe the Bible.  And the Bible says God is trustworthy and good.  But my heart is often slow—very slow—to catch on.

Well I have gotten a super mega dose of truth this past week as I have treaded the waters of Beth Moore’s study on the Psalms of Ascent.  It is by far my favorite study of hers thus far.  And this past week’s five days of lessons definitely challenging and convicting for me.

Let me back up a bit…to the end of December.  I was listening to one of our Cru conference speakers share about God’s goodness and was challenged by the notion that many of us (maybe even most if not all believers) would say that God is good.  But we all too often stop there.  We believe God is good…to our friends, our family, our church body.  But we do not believe that God is good to US individually.  She helped me to realize that I struggle to trust God because I doubt His goodness TO ME.  My head knows that God is good—the Bible tells me this.  But I so do not believe that GOD IS GOOD TO ME.

God used this week’s Bible study lessons to bring that to the forefront of my thoughts again.  I get so consumed by the worries and details of this world that I easily forget that God holds all things in His enormously powerful hand.  I lose sight of God’s character and forget that He is for me and not against me.  That, as Beth says, “God is with us and for us even when His face and His favor seem hidden.”

 I was terribly challenged by her claim that “…God’s favor and His person are not synonymous.  If our trust is in manifestation of God’s favor rather than God Himself, we will crumble like dry clay when He calls us to walk a distance of our journeys entirely by faith and not by sight….  The difference between trusting God and trusting what God has done is a fine line we easily can trip over….”

Ain’t  that the truth?!

I would like to think I walk more by faith than by sight.  But I know I don’t.  When things are not visibly going a direction I like or the way I want, I rarely choose to trust God more than what I see is—or isn’t—happening.   When His favor seems hidden or is not on me, I immediately question His intentions toward me.   So often I place my security in the blessings that come from God rather than in God Himself.

Lord, teach me to trust in the One who blesses rather than the blessing itself.

Okay, so I realize some people LIKE to start their day in the wee hours of the morning, but others of us refer to that time as “the middle of the night.”  So seriously…why oh why am I awake?  I am really not going to like this later today.  (Ha—as if I like it now?!)

I tried (clearly in vain) to go back to sleep, but finally have given up and decided to purge my mind of all that is swimming around in there.  Well, maybe not all—but a few things anyway.  Although I suddenly seem to have forgotten what it was I planned to say.  Go figure.

Anyway…I have been contemplating lately (as in the last couple days) my tendency to be emotionally fickle.  Maybe it’s a female thing, but my emotions can change on a dime!  Or, as someone who shall remain nameless but who lives with me said (with a smile, of course):  “They change on a hay-penny.”  Apparently my emotions do not even get the time a dime (or even a whole penny!)  provides.  🙂

Clearly, I am married to a great man.  I mean, if he can put up with the fickleness of this female’s unpredictable (emphasis on unpredictable!) emotions and not have killed or maimed anyone yet (namely, me)—well, that is definitely saying something about his level of patience, stability and overall compassion.  But in all seriousness (or at least as serious as I get), God really did give me an amazing gift in Matt.  (And while, admittedly, I do not always feel this way, it IS always true.)  🙂

It is so great for me to watch him embrace his role in our new church.  There are so many ways God has gifted him in dealing with situations and people. And the level of discernment and perception he has been granted is remarkable.   I am so proud of him!  (And I honestly just sometimes forget about these things—or just don’t always see them given how sometimes my vision blurs.  I am sure I am the only wife this happens to….)

I love, love, love seeing him in a job that is life-giving to him, especially after the last few years.  It is so fun for me to watch him already begin to thrive in our new location and his new role, and to enjoy these fresh moments of knowing that we are where we were designed to be.  God has truly gifted him.

But back to my emotions…this blog IS—after all—all about ME.  🙂

I confuse even myself sometimes.  I mean, I can be riding along this road called life feeling perfectly okay with it all—almost content even—and then it can change just like (insert finger snap) that!  And I am not talking about the kind of “tangible” (so to speak) change that comes from a move or a life-altering phone call.  I mean the snap of some invisible string inside me that takes me from enjoying sweet life moments to nearly bursting into tears.  What is up with that?!  Please do not tell me I am the only female/person who experiences this.  (And no, I do not have any {noteworthy} mental or emotional disorders.) 🙂

I merely have what I have decided to call “ongoing heartache.”  As I have contemplated my ever-changing emotions, I realized that at least some of them are tied to my constant heartache.  This is not to say I am sad all the time.  It simply means that I am living life with holes in my heart.  We all are, really—to varying degrees and circumstances.  And we all respond to the emotions that stem from that ache differently.  Some of us even respond differently from one day to the next.  (My poor family!)

There is that “God-shaped hole” (as the song says) we all share.  That one can be filled should we choose to invite God to live there.  But even then, it will not be complete this side of Heaven.  Even it aches sometimes as we long to be at “home” with Jesus, reveling in the presence of God.

As much as I would love to say that it is the yearning for Heaven that causes me noticeable heartburn, the aches that typically cause my emotional schizophrenia are the holes of loss, grief, and hopes deferred; unrealized desires and out-of-my-control events.  In other words, my emotions are flighty because I focus on my situation rather than my Savior.  This is not to discount my emotions or the stings of this life that prick my heart and dig those holes. But it is to say that I should not allow those aches to become the focus of my life and eat away at my heart.  Instead I should ride the waves of that heartache to the feet of Jesus and allow Him to soothe my pain.  But I so often choose to wallow in it instead.  I think I am probably more often like a pig bathing in the mud than a sheep following a shepherd.

I could not say exactly why that is.  Maybe the pain seems too severe to be soothed; maybe I find solace in self-pity.  Or maybe I am afraid to trust Jesus to heal my hurt because I know it means surrendering my desires.   And I am just not sure I am there yet even though I am made to be.

How about you?  Do you choose to bathe in the mud?  Or do you bask in the presence of The Shepherd?

I, sadly, am a worrier by nature. Sinful nature, that is. I do believe that worry is a sin. It exhibits a lack of trust in the God who made us and loves us. It demonstrates disbelief in the ability and character of the Keeper of all things. It says to God that not only do I not trust that He can take care of everything I need; it tells him that I don’t believe He will. And, of course, it shows God (and others) that I do not take Him at His word. There are more verses than I will quote that tell us not to worry—to cast our cares on Him (1 Ptr 5:7); to not be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6); that good and perfect gifts come from above (James 1:17). The Bible is full of the ways that God can and does care for us.

So why is it still so easy to fall into the trap of worrying? It’s not even like it is a “fun” sin. (I know…some of you are totally shocked I just indicated that some sin is fun. But isn’t it? Or at least don’t we believe it to be? Isn’t that at least some of the reason we sometimes choose to sin? Maybe that’s just me and I have revealed a bit too much of myself. But I digress…)

Worrying is stressful and exhausting; it makes me feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. It causes me to become haphazard and self-absorbed and blind to all the blessings in my life. And it accomplishes NOTHING positive—nothing at all. It is a waste of time and energy and resources. And it is a major distraction. I don’t even want to know how much time I have wasted, or how many relationships I have wounded worrying about circumstances, or situations, or people, or the future. I am confident it is a shameful amount.

You know, I think that worrying is also a sin because it gives me a false idea that I can be god. Not so much in the literal sense—but doesn’t worrying somehow indicate that I think I can control things? At least for me, so much of my worrying is about control. I want it. I believe I need it. And that is true because I don’t believe rightly about the One who has it. It is absurd, really, that I should think I could do better than God at caring for myself, my family, and my friends. It is absurd that I should believe He wants less for me than the best–HIS best.

Yet, here I am again, waiting at the feet of worry rather than resting in the arms of Jesus. Even just last night, I voiced my (unfounded) concern about our present and our future in light of our past. I struggle to trust that we are right where we need to be; right where God desires us to be; and even right where we truly want to be. I am haunted by my perception of the affect of past situations and circumstances rather than clinging to the God who is true, and unchanging, and who cares more for me than I could ever understand or even fully know. I am stuck in the trap of wanting to direct my steps rather than just make my plans. And I vacillate between boldly stepping out in faith and being paralyzed by fear.

And it boils down to trust. Do I trust Him? Will I trust Him? Will I trust that even if or when the canvas looks bleak to me, that the Master Artist is in the midst of a Great Work? Will I choose to believe that God is good? All the time? And that He is good to me? Even if and when it doesn’t feel like it or seem like it? Will I trust that His definition of good is truly good even when my perception is skewed?

I sure hope so.

God, help me to believe that you are good and trustworthy and true. Transform my mind so that my vision is no longer skewed–so that I can see you for who you truly are, and trust you accordingly.