The next person that says I need to “trust God more,” is going to get a fat lip. I promise.
I thought I was a good Christian.
So why does, “trust God more” make me angry?
I thought I knew God – knew He loved me, knew He took care of me.
I know the good I have received has come from Him.
I have done nothing but “trust Him;” I have made nearly every decision based on “trusting God,” for a decade and a half.
But now – now that I have been plunged into the abyss of doubt, I wonder.
Does my anger over the phrase “trust God” make Him mad?
Is He going to take care of me now? Now that I don’t trust Him as well as I thought I did?
Is He going to withdraw His hand because I doubt – because I hurt and don’t understand why I have to?
Is He going to turn and say, “Ok, well fine – you don’t believe Me? Then enough with you. Just see what happens when you don’t trust Me.”
Is He going to say, “Well, you trusted Me for so long; but since now you are struggling with believing Me, I can’t help you anymore?”
I come to Him afraid, and tell Him I don’t understand Him, and beg Him to please help me. So is He tired of my doubt and my unbelief and my refusal to ask for anything because I feel like I don’t deserve His help?
Am I stubborn? Have I allowed the circumstances of life to harden my heart, and now I won’t be able to receive from Him anymore because I don’t fully trust yet that He is not only able, but willing?
After the great care He has taken of me over the course of my life, why is it I am so afraid? Can’t I just walk forward into the future, trusting that He will still take care of me?
I am trying. I really am. I am trying to trust.
But I am not religious. I have never been good at that. I cannot say something I don’t believe. I cannot pretend to be ok when I am not. I cannot say, “I trust God,” when my very being is screaming, “Where are You???”
Can I say that I am afraid? Will the religious allow me to be honest, and not condemn me for it?
Because I am afraid. I am afraid of myself. I am afraid of my motives. I am afraid that what I believe to be true perhaps isn’t true after all.
I am afraid of the darkness in my own heart. I am afraid of the selfishness I see in myself, and the insistence on having things a certain way – the way I feel is right.
I am afraid that I have closed myself off from hearing His voice anymore, because I am tired of religious words that offer no solutions or direction.
Can I say I am tired? Will the religious allow me to tell the truth about what is going on in my heart?
Because I am weary. Bone and soul-deep weary.
I am weary of hearing “Trust God,” while my children and I sit in want and need and scarcity and instability, with no answers and no promise of any.
I am weary of telling my children, “God will provide,” and then sending them to school with no lunch, knowing they will have to eat the garbage provided there and come home still hungry.
I am weary of saying to my children, “God answers prayer,” and in the same breath, “Sorry, you will have to keep wearing those shoes that are too small until we have the money for another pair. Yes, I know they hurt your feet, but God will provide at some point.” Am I the only one who realizes how ridiculous that sounds?
Am I allowed to be angry? Does the Scripture, “Be angry and sin not,” apply to me, too?
Because I am angry.
The deepest anger and fury well up in my chest when I say, “We need,” and someone says to me, “You have to trust God more.” I just want to scream, “BUT I HAVE!!! Don’t you understand??? I have trusted Him for years and years, and NOTHING HAS CHANGED!! We are STILL in want, we are STILL in need. At what point does God expect me to get up and DO SOMETHING about it??”
James 2:15-16 says,
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Indeed. If my children are in need, and I tell them we will have to “Trust God” to provide, and I do nothing to go out and procure what they are in need of, what am I teaching them?
That God really doesn’t care.
That “Trust God,” means “Go without.”
That “Trust God,” means, “Do nothing with the hands and feet He has given you, and at some point, God will swoop in and make everything right with no effort on your part at all.” Really? That’s what “trust God” actually means? If so, then He hasn’t followed through on His part of that deal.
And if that’s the case, what do I need to trust God for?
He has given me two hands, two feet, a brain, a heart, and a college degree. He expects me to get out and use these to the best of my ability to take care of the three precious lives He has entrusted to me. I am supposed to work. I am supposed to provide. I am supposed to make sure their needs are met. I am supposed to care for their hearts and protect them from those who would use them, mistreat them, take advantage of them. If it is within my power to do, I am supposed to do it.
So I ask you again, what do I need to trust God for?
If He has given me all I need to survive, and I have the ability to make a go of it all on my own, what more do I need from Him?
If I have asked Him for answers, for direction, for assurance, for confidence, and He has yet to answer, then why ask for anything else?
If I have cried, wept, begged for help, pleaded for clarity, something, anything to tell me that the path I am on is either right or wrong, and the heavens have been silent, then what more is there for me to do?
All that is left, is for me to do the next thing that seems right. To walk intentionally. To hope that my best efforts pay off. To pray that He meant it when He said, “You will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’” as I make a choice and move forward.
So other than salvation, which I clearly cannot procure on my own, what do I need to trust God for? What can He give me that I cannot give myself? What can He give my children that I cannot provide for them?
There are some things I cannot provide.
I have to trust Him.
My life and sanity depend on it.
He is the only source I have
For peace in the midst of chaos.
For joy in the midst of sorrow.
For strength when mine is gone.
For courage to face the next formidable challenge.
For grace when I make the wrong choice.
For forgiveness when I fail.
For provision when all I can do is not enough.
For Spirit-filled words when I deal with my children’s hearts.
For wisdom when I have to direct and instruct them.
For a Father’s love when they need a daddy to hold them.
For healing when my heart is crushed.
For rest when my soul is weary.
For clarity when I am confused.
For reconciliation when my relationships are broken.
For restoration when my body is worn out.
For companionship when my friends have walked away.
For the small kindnesses I won’t do for myself, those things He knows matter to me.
Tonight, He has convinced me…
He is not mad at me for being mad at Him, for being tired of how He seems to be handling my life, for being frustrated at what I see as His slowness in answering my prayers.
He isn’t looking down and going, “Man, that was a dumb decision. I know it came after deep internal struggle, and hanging on as long as you could, and questioning, and a multitude of counselors, and prayer. And if you had waited just one more decade, I would have finally answered you in an audible voice, and you wouldn’t have ruined everyone’s life. Man are you ever gonna regret this. Yep, you sure blew it there. Thought ya had more in ya.”
He isn’t walking along behind me, pointing His finger, condemning every move I make, every question I have, every time I cry out in doubt and fear.
He isn’t the religious people. He isn’t everyone else who is afraid of my decisions.
He is Jesus.
I know that now. For today, I am sure. Tomorrow, I may question again.
He is not frustrated that I don’t fully trust Him. He knows that I am dust. He knows I am confused.
He is aware I am starting over, that I don’t understand all the why’s, that He made me analytical, and that I just need answers, not nice words.
And instead of chiding me and scolding me, and telling me how sorry I am to not trust Him after all He has done for me,
I find Him placing a hand under my chin, lifting my eyes to His, and saying,
“I love you. Trust Me. I promise, I won’t let you down.”
And then tears…
You know I love You. I want so much to trust You.
I am so scared. I can’t hear You. I don’t know what to do.
And He answers, “I know. This is scary. And it’s ok. You will be ok. They will be ok. I’ve got this.
Just trust me.
(If you said that to me, you would get a fat lip. I promise. But Jesus – He gets a pass.)
And so, today, I trust Him more.
More than I did yesterday.
And that is enough.
It will never be enough for the religious. For the self-righteous. For the finger-pointers and the blamers.
But it is enough for Him.
And for now, it is enough for me.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. ~ Psalm 56:3