When I graduated from high school, I received all sorts of cards, wall hanging and picture frames. On them were sayings like:
Reach for the stars!
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11
Unlock your potential!
With God as the captain of your ship, you’ll never be steered wrong!
I knew these words were meant with the best intentions but at the time they really kind-of scared me. Because I honestly didn’t know if God was captain my ship or if He actually did have prosperous plans for me.
My faith didn’t really become personal to me until I was in my first year of college, in the place I was sure God had “steered” me, and yet the place where I was incredibly miserable. It took many months and late nights of pouring over Scripture for me to realize that I truly wasn’t where God wanted me to be but instead simply following my own plans because of what had seemed to fall into place. I was “reaching for the stars” if you will, but it was in vain.
Finally I was brought to a place where I yielded control of my life to God and through His grace was able to see where He really wanted me to be (it was somewhere I’d never expected!). And truly it gave me peace to trust the Lord.
Fast-forward 13 years later and I’m at the same crossroads again. Ready for change, feeling led as a family to make some big adjustments according to our convictions. And yet, this time, after praying through something that has been on my mind for a long while, it all of a sudden blew up in my face. Hopes crushed, plans unfulfilled and me left wondering why.
And for some reason it seems trite when people throw out the same type of “sayings” that were on my graduation cards:
Everything will be fine, just trust God. He knows what He’s doing!
Isn’t it great to know God has a plan for your life?
Something better will come along, I promise!
Yet I wonder if I’m the person that says those things unknowingly too, without really thinking of what the person I’m saying them to is going through. Doubt. Frustration. Maybe disbelief and anger.
All those emotions and more have been on my mind these days and yet those feelings don’t change the situation. And I know now that I had a problem. Still have that problem, actually.
It’s something I’ve been learning all my life, going back to those first days in college when it finally became clear to me.
The problem isn’t putting our trust in God. That will never lead us astray. But my disbelief and doubt stems from the fact that I was trusting an outcome, instead of God.
If you have a type-A, control freak personality like yours truly, you know what I mean. Yielding to the God of the universe and trusting Him, really trusting, is a tedious and painful process. It really shouldn’t be, and I’m ashamed to say that it is that way sometimes, but it can be used for good. For molding us into the people God desires us to be and showing us that we, in fact, are not the creator of the universe.
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Does trusting God mean I will have a great revelation and understand exactly why this has happened? Not necessarily. And it also isn’t a guarantee that by some act of my own that I will easily submit to the will of God in the future. But it does mean I have to let go of the things I thought I knew, once again, and believe the truths of the Word.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
Yes, pour out your heart! Telling God how you feel, asking for His grace, resting on His mercy. He really does know what He’s doing. It doesn’t mean the situation will immediately turn itself around or that things will all of a sudden make sense, but falling back on God’s grace comes with a promise, that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had trouble trusting God? I’d love to encourage you and pray for you, so please share with us if you feel led.
Linked up at Tending the Home Tuesdays and Time-Warp Wife.