I had a discussion with a friend the other day about some struggles they were having. While I was in the midst of it I heard echoes of discussions I’ve had with myself and other friends over the last five years or so.
We were talking about uncertainty, instability, financial insecurity, fear of the unknown, loss of relationships, all intertwined with feelings of anger, sadness, confusion and betrayal, accompanied with health issues neatly rounding off the package.
What I shared with them that day and I hope that I conveyed, is what I’ve learned about myself slowly and painfully.
It involves trust.
I have had an issue, and if I am not careful, I can still have an issue with trust.
I have this part of my personality that likes to know “the plan”. If I don’t know “the plan”, I have been known to mentally spend hours devising “Plan A”, “Plan B”, “Plan C”, well, you get the picture.
On the plus side, this gift can work well in certain organizational and job skills. It enables one to prioritize and administer goals and tasks, and can also help with vision casting.
On the minus side, this gift has shifted my focus at times off of what God has in plan. When during the course of my life, “my timing” is different than “His timing”; that is when I’ve faltered or become afraid.
I don’t think I’m the only one that feels like this.
Well, truthfully, I know I’m not. Often, in my ladies small group we would talk about things like this. We “know” the right answer; we know we are supposed to lay our concerns down. It is just hard to “do it”. Or admit it is a struggle.
If you can relate to any of the above feelings, welcome to the group.
Probably a year or so ago, I kept asking Jesus this question if ever I was sad, angry, afraid, felt betrayed or confused:
“What is at the root of this feeling?”
It came back to trust. However, what the Holy Spirit pressed into my heart was who I ultimately was not trusting.
I wasn’t trusting God. That is as painful to type as it is to admit then and now.
Were there circumstances or people contributing at the time to those feelings? Yes. Were there decisions or actions that I needed to make or confront? Yes.
However, at the root, the intensity of my feelings was something else. I wasn’t trusting God.
Gently, the Holy Spirit reminded me…. hasn’t He always been there for me? Yes, Lord. You have been.
Any residue of sadness for a relationship with my Dad or my siblings…. hasn’t He always been there for me…always loving me? Yes, Lord, you have always loved me, even when I haven’t been loving or loved you as I should.
Any residue of betrayal or bitterness from past experiences…. hasn’t He always been beside me, understood any pain, loved me? Yes, Lord, you who endured what I can not even imagine, carried the weight of all sin, mine included, before I even came to be.
Haven’t I always had a roof over my head and food on my plate? Hasn’t He always made provisions for me, even when I’ve forgotten to thank Him on occasions? Forgive me Lord, for the many times I’ve neglected to thank you for all you have provided, and even begin to hint in my mind that I in some way contribute to it. Everything is a gift from you.
I knew those things. I know those things. I just needed to be reminded. I also needed to confess my sin of lack of trust.
Trusting God means you figuratively stand at a precipice of the unknown and willing jump off into His arms.
I haven’t been willing to do that too many times in the past.
I want to know what nets are in place. I want to know what security measures there are.
Trusting Him means not knowing those answers.
Trusting Him means giving up things once thought important.
Trusting Him means following His lead when it doesn’t seem popular, or comfortable.
Trusting Him means sharing what little you have, when you’re not sure what will come in next.
Do I know what that means for me tomorrow, or the next, or the day or after that?
That is what trusting Him all is about.
Is that scary sometimes? Yes, I must admit it is – until I look backwards.
And that is when I remind myself, hasn’t He always provided for me? Hasn’t He always taken care of me? Hasn’t He always been there for me?
He has been faithful. I’ve been the one to doubt and to fear.
Will I be weak and be fearful or worry again? Probably so, that “need a plan” is part of my personality. However, hopefully I have learned to recognize when I’m not trusting and confess that sin, and lay it at His feet.
Being thankful. Making the mental shift. It is when I do that I can see how He has blessed and provided. I feel His peace.
Thankfully His presence isn’t about our feelings, He is always with us. Always present, always faithful. Always trustworthy.
I am the one that just needs to remember at times.
How about you?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.