He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

20 March 2011

Do I Really Trust God?

If you had asked me any day prior to a week ago if I trusted the Lord my answer would have been, unequivocally and emphatically,  "YES!". It wasn't until this past week I began to understand what trusting God really looks like and now my answer would be much more like "I try" or "sometimes" or even "somewhat".
Now before you go wondering what major event happened in my life that caused my answer to change I want you to know that nothing has happened. My husband and children and even my extended family and, yes, my dearest friends are all good and well. My home is still exactly as it was; providing shelter, warmth, and comfort. My personal health is just as it was and even Baby Bean is growing strong and healthy. Brent's job is still secure and we still receive a steady income that provides and exceeds our needs.
What HAS changed is me. My thinking. My further understanding of my depravity and all that it entails.
God has been no less faithful than He has always been in my life and has continued to show me the depths of His love for me, a sinner who can't seem to do the things I want to do and keeps on doing the shameful things that I don't want to do. {Romans 7:14-25}
Today, specifically, I am just beginning to understand how little I trust God in my daily life.
Boy, it hurts to realize that.

Yes, I believe that He died for my sins and rose again to conquer death. The issue isn't my trust in His gift of salvation those who believe in Him and yes,  I trust that it's His grace and mercy that makes my daily life possible.
Instead, I struggle with trusting Him with that daily life.
For example... Hubs and I were recently offered a very generous opportunity to make our current living situation far more comfortable by making some adjustments to our house at no cost to us.
Wonderful, right?
The thing is...we aren't sure that going ahead with this decision would be wise for us in the long run and aren't really sure how to proceed. My instincts, of course, are to take the opportunity and not look back because we are quickly outgrowing our home. But, again, the reality is that this may not be the best for us and ultimately Hubs has to make that decision. I'm struggling to trust that Hubs will make the "right" decision for us which ultimately means that I'm struggling to trust that God has a good plan and that it will come to fruition as He sees fit through the man He has put over me. I know how I want this all to play out but the uncertainty of what is to come is embarassingly difficult for me to accept.
Example 2: Hubs has wanted to go to Africa with my dad to see how he can become involved in our family's mission organization. I'm jealous of his ability to go {me going with three little ones is financially and strategically foolish right now} but I'm also terrified for his safety. In my moments of rational thinking I absolutely think he should go because I know that he is no safer asleep next to me in bed than he is thousands of miles away but sometimes I cannot seem to get my emotions around that. I want him to go. I think it'd be wonderful for him to go. I'm proud of him for wanting to go. And yet I am sometimes petrified by the thought of him going.
And, if a trip to Africa {South Sudan} seems like something worth worrying about... then try Example 3: My mom and aunt offered to take Miss Mak for the day on a road trip this weekend. It would entail going a couple of hours away to do some shopping and I think it would be wonderful for her to get away. Rarely does Miss Mak get a chance to go out without CJ and she loves her Oma so I know it would be good for her. My head understands all this. My heart, however... my chest gets tight just thinking about her being away from me for that long and that far. I worry about her safety in the car. I worry about her choking during a meal at a restaurant. When I let my mind dwell on my fears the scenarios get a little crazy... mom could wreck, become incapacitated, a bystander could come across the accident, see a beautiful baby girl and take her away so that I'd never see her again. {Yes, I considered writing her name and my phone number on the bottom of her foot just in case.}
As you can see I sometimes worry to an unreasonable degree. Not a lot. But enough.
I do the things I don't want to do.
I hate it.
It would seem like maybe I'm paranoid or psychotic but, when it comes to the family the Lord has charged me to care for, I can be a little crazy and hang on too tight. 
And yet, that's just it. That's the point.
The Lord has given me 3 1/2 gifts that I cherish so dearly that I forget where those gifts came from to begin with.
I have fallen in love with the gifts and forgotten the giver of them.
I know that God is good.
I know that He will supply for all my needs.
I know that He cares for even the insignificant details of my life.
And yet...
And yet I worry about what He'll do with those gifts He has given. He can take them away at any point.
Does that mean He is untrustworthy?
I am aware of so many cases where parent's have lost their children early in life. I have heard stories of young wives losing their spouses unexpectedly. I cannot imagine dealing with that kind of loss and, though not often, I can be paralyzed by the fear that it will happen to me.
I console myself with the realization that the number of people I know who have lost a child is greatly exceeded by the number of people who have not. That makes me feel better. But...
That's not trust!
That's math and percentages and counting on my odds and finding peace in those things doesn't settle with me.
It's also not trust to "go with the flow" and do what's right in an attempt to avoid the painful things. Thinking that painful things in my life are a result of my inability to trust makes God a cause and effect God in which case I have every reason to live in constant fear of Him because he's a purposeless dictator who's just out to teach me a lesson.
That's not right.
I think about it this way...
I trust my husband. He is a faulted man who has and will disappoint me many times throughout the course of our marriage just as I have and will continue to disappoint him. Then why trust him? Because I know that we have a common goal in the safety and best interest of our kids. If something "happened" to our kids in Hub's care I know it would be out of his hands. I know that he wouldn't be able to help the outcome because I know he would do everything he could to keep them safe.
When it comes to God, I know that anything that happens is because HE allowed it. He planned it. He knew from the beginning that it would happen and it did. "The buck stops with Him". I'm finding myself opening my hands to take the "good" but quickly closing them when I sense the "difficult" is coming.
It's so disappointing.

So this all sounds hopeless.
And honestly I don't have many answers here.
I haven't actually encountered anyone who does.
Jerry Bridges, author or Respectable Sins, dedicated a whole chapter to anxiety and worry. He concluded that in all situations, even in those where uncertainty, doubt, fear, hesitation feel justifiable, we need to obey the Word. Matthew 6:34 commands us "...Do not worry about tomorrow". There are no qualifiers. That's it. Just stop it.
Now, aside from just "stopping it" I can lean on the truths and promises that God has given...

God is good. {Matthew 19:17}
God loves you and me. {John 3:16}
God has a plan for our lives {that includes the lives of my family}. {Romans 12:1-2}
That plan is a good plan. {Romans 12:1-2}
God will use all things to bring Himself glory which is why we're here to begin with. {Isaiah 60:21, I Corinthians 10:31}
God gives and He takes away. {Job 1:20-21}
Understanding that I don't know everything is not a sin.{Romans 11:34}
Doubt is a sin. {Romans 14:23}
Worry is a sin. {Phil 4:6}
Allowing myself to worry means that I am struggling for control over my life.
Allowing myself to become overwhelmed with uncertainty is a sin. {Phil 4:6}

I have no control...
If I did have control, God wouldn't be God. {Job 40-41}
Prayer works. {I Peter 5:7, Phil 4:6-9}
Stopping to think about all the gifts He has already given helps...
Joy begins with thankfulness. {Philippians 4:4-9}
Doing things for others takes my mind of me and refreshes my spirit.

As a friend of mine pointed out last week, the disciples spent three years walking and talking with God and still struggled, why do I expect to have it all figured out when I'm so far removed from His days on earth? I can only lean on what I know and take things as they come.

I believe Lord, only help my unbelief.


  1. Krystle, this was so good. What encouraging and convicting words!!

  2. Thanks for this. :) It's definitely something I've been dealing a lot with lately and am constantly reminding myself that I do not have to be in control, because God is great. He does have a plan and a purpose, the hard part is reminding ourselves of that and of how very much we need to trust and depend on him. Thanks for sharing so many good verses--the Bible is the best way to keep our hearts reminded of the things we so often forget.


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