Trusting God can be such a learning process. Some circumstances in life have caused me to think more about what it means to trust God in painful, devastating times. Sometimes there are things that are so private that we are left to deal with them mostly alone, hopefully with a few select others that God provides. Some of these situations leave deep scars that take a long time to heal.
Last week I spent some time thinking about the leftover pain that can make it difficult to trust again; yes, even to trust God. I realized that, in order to trust God fully, I must release all my circumstances to Him. I must make peace with the fact that the same pain that came my way in the past could in fact recur should He see fit. I'm not saying that God sends painful, difficult circumstances our way, although sometimes I believe He does. But even if He sees fit to allow them to enter my life again, I must believe that He knows best. The problem comes when my self-protective instinct jumps in and decides that it would be better to not experience that depth of pain again. Anything is better than walking through that again, so I walk around on guard and doing everything I can to keep the pain and the pain-causing people at a distance. It's a natural reaction, but that doesn't mean it's the right response for a child of God. I should trust God enough to know that if He allows pain to come my way, it is for my good and His glory (see Romans 8:18 and 8:28).
His glory - I can get that one. My response to pain can bring Him glory. My attitude in pain can bring Him glory. My choice to use pain to push me closer to Him brings Him glory.
My good - this one is much harder to grasp. I forget how closely "my good" and "His glory" are related. I also have a tendency to look at "my good" in a childish way; anything that makes me happy and fits exactly into my expectations is good in my simplistic definition. How quickly I forget the great good that has come from great pain. It's hard to admit, but it's true in many ways.
I have a choice every day. Will I trust myself to figure out the best way to make it through this life? Or will I trust my Father, the One who loved me before I was born and loves me more than I can imagine? Do I really trust Him? When I consider what it means to give it all up in trusting Him, I struggle some days to answer in the affirmative. I'm not perfect, but thanks be to God who knows my going out and my lying down; He is familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, He knows it. He hems me in behind and before; He has laid His hand upon me.*
To know Him is to trust Him. Oh, Lord, I want to know You more.
*Adapted from Psalm 139:3-5.
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8 months ago