Friday, August 27, 2010

A Matter of Trust

Everybody’s actin’ a fool and the whole world’s gone crazy...Trust in the Lord with all your heart…Frustrated, aggravated and irritated... And do not lean into your own understanding…What in the world is going on here... In all your ways acknowledge Him…God doesn’t make any sense... And He will direct your paths....I don't have clue where I'm going (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Does God really call us to trust Him in the middle of full blown chaos? I mean does He seriously want a shout-out from us even when we're struggling and tanked out?

I think God has a funny way of doing things sometimes. If you're wondering whether I mean funny ha-ha or funny strange, my response is: Yes, that’s it exactly!

Truly, there are times when God just doesn't make sense and it's hard to understand why the stuff that's happening in and around our lives is actually happening. Yet He simply asks us to trust Him through it.

I’ll share something with you that happened to me a few years ago.

I was feeling veeerrry frustrated with God. I did not understand what in the world He was doing because from my viewpoint; it didn’t make any sense. At all. I was struggling and I told Him about it too. He let me vent and kick and scream and carry on and the last thing I said to Him in that moment was, "God, you don’t make any sense to me! None whatsoever! Zip-po!" And almost immediately He replied back into my spirit, "Yes, but do you trust Me anyway?"

He said it in such a way that it almost made me laugh, which I didn’t want to do since I was so frustrated in the first place. And while He was probably glad to lighten my mood, even more than that; He wanted to make a point. And He did it by asking me a question (I just love it when God asks me a question).

He wasn’t asking for asking's sake. Rather He was trying to move me into the place of faith. He was essentially saying: Yeah, uh-huh, I know it doesn’t make any sense to you. I know you can’t see it the way I do. I know you’re frustrated. I know it all seems crazy. But despite all that, will you choose to trust Me?


It was really an invitation. And it’s not just for me but also for us all. God invites us to trust Him when nothing makes sense so He can show us more of who He is. He doesn’t ask because He’s in need of the answer but because we are.

Like it or not, there are just some things about God He will not show us except in difficult times; in times of hardship and in times of suffering. And often during times when absolutely nothing that is happening in our lives makes any sense.

So why is that?

I certainly don’t have all the answers but I think God often waits to reveal some of the deeper things about Himself during these times because we’re not so focused on other things; worldly things. And let me tell you, being chronically ill, the outcome of the ballgame or the latest fashion buzz isn’t the most important thing on my mind. My focus has dramatically shifted on working to be well; on wanting to understand why this happened and what purpose it is serving; on wanting to hear from God about it all.

And there it is.

In difficult times our focus and attention is shifted on God in ways that it isn’t during any other. We seek Him with fervor and intent. We start asking questions. And not polite, superficial questions but deep, anguishing, gut-wrenching questions. Desperate, demanding questions. And we set ourselves on a collision course with God to find answers. So He gives us a little something to hold onto, enough to keep us going, but just a bit mind you. Because God wants to keep us coming back for more. He wants us seeking Him over and over and over again. He wants to ever drive us straight into His Arms.

It has been my experience, however, that God is not really in the business of explaining Himself. Moreover, He has this thing about wanting us to trust Him even when there seems to be no reason to; especially then. He wants to show us that He is able to sustain us during the worst of times; during times when we’re flat out spent and broken.

Ironically, it’s also during these times that we seem to be the most receptive to Him despite our frustrations and disappointments, because we know can’t nobody do for us what Jesus can.

It almost seems like a game of hide-n-seek with God and in a way it is. Except this isn’t a game; it is the way of faith. Still, our hearts ache to know what it is He is doing and where it is He is taking us. So we keep on looking, we keep on asking, we keep on seeking.

But perhaps like the old U2 song says, we still haven’t found what we’re looking for. So we keep on looking and we keep on seeking and we keep on asking.

Whatever it is that drives us to Him, He just waits for us to come. He waits to show us how deeply He loves and cares for us. We don’t necessarily get all the answers we’re looking for. Instead, we find what we’re lacking in He can and will supply. God's in no short measure of anything. Whatever it is we’re in need of; He’s got.

It’s interesting though that the one thing we seem to want most is the one thing we don't have – understanding. And I think it's human nature to desire it. However, God is not so much interested in our always understanding Him as He is in our always trusting Him. Still, as many of us know, trusting God isn’t always easy; especially in those difficult and trying times.

The test results are bad, Lord. Yes, He replies, but do you trust Me anyway?

I got laid off from work...
He walked out the door...
This is not the way I thought things would turn out...
She’s still so sick...
This is all such a mess...
My boy went to prison...
God, I just don’t understand...

...Yes, but do you trust Me anyway?

No matter what, do we trust Him anyway?

We say we do but we really don’t want to go through anything to test if our theory is true. In theory it sounds good; in practice its application is not quite so simple. Yet through all the doubts and frustrations, God allows us to arrive at the place where we find our only real option left is to trust in His power and throught it; we come to realize that our finite knowledge can’t hold a candlestick to God’s infinite wisdom.


As His children, there isn’t one thing we’ll go through that has not first gone through the wisdom of the Father. Not that He causes it but rather that He allows it; be it for our own growth, for the benefit of helping others, or for a much higher calling. Whatever the reason, He has a divine purpose and nothing is wasted. If you don’t believe me, just take a look back through the Bible.

God knows what we need even more than we do and when we’re being conformed into the image of Christ, it isn’t always fun. In fact, the process can be downright painful. But God is precise in His ways. And as we move through that painful but precious shaping process, we’re shown those secret places of God we’ve never had access to before; we’re given fresh insight and new revelation; we’re drawn into deeper intimacy with our Savior and Lord and before we know it; we find ourselves trusting Him in a way we never have before. And it just comes.

Because as He’s shown us more of who He is, we realize who He is, is worthy of our trust. Not because He’s changed but because we are. And we are ever-changing, ever-learning, ever dying to self and allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us and through us.

God has a purpose for your life and for mine and that purpose has everything to do with advancing the Kingdom of God. And if we want to reach our full potential in Christ, then we must submit to and trust in the Father's perfect plan; even when we don’t feel like it or when it doesn’t make sense.

What God has in store for us is far more wonderful, far more awesome than anything we could ever imagine or dream of for ourselves! But it comes through the process and the process requires trust. Not trusting what we see in the natural but trusting in that glorious unseen supernatural realm of the Most High God. And very often the more difficult or impossible the circumstances; the more likely it is that God is up to something. And when God is up to something, He always goes about it in a way that bypasses our human understanding, which therefore requires our trust.

And so we’re left with a choice. We’re back where we started; back at His invitation to trust Him.

The God who created you, trust in Him...Trust in the Lord with all your heart

The God who knows your deepest sorrow, trust in Him...And do not lean into your own understanding.

The God with whom all things are possible, trust in Him...In all your ways acknowldege Him.

The God who knows the answers to your questions, trust in Him...And He will direct your paths.

The God who died to save you; this is the One who asks you trust Him...Will you?

Copyright © 2010 Michelle Holderman
Photos: Photobucket and Flickr

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