The negative views and broadcasts of the news. The focus on the rich, reality stars, name-calling, politics and encouragement of bad behavior in the media. Unemployment, foreclosures, disappointments, senseless murders of children, hurricanes, anger and the struggle of simply living day to day. In these times we live in, so much seems to point to hopelessness and the belief that, “Nothing I do matters.”
Almost weekly, someone (from those with fame and wealth to the everyday Joe who is just getting by) shares their feelings, fears, struggles, and even thoughts of ending it all because their lives are “just too hard to live” with me. Man, I so get that. There have been times recently where I have even questioned God’s plan in my life, believed I was standing alone, and considered that a better plan would be for Him to allow me to quietly pass in my sleep. So many questions seem to go unanswered. So much harm and wrong seems to go unpunished. So much seems to be required of us with a feeling there is not much to gain.
In the midst of it all, as Christians, God asks us to “Be still (translated: “to be struck dumb, not moving, thinking or reacting”) and know He is God.” He asks us to trust Him completely even in the midst of insanity in our lives. For some, telling others to simply trust in the Lord is a help. I have found for most, being told to just trust and be still holds little help and comfort when the rent is due in two hours, a divorce is looming, or a child has just been killed. So why in the world would a loving God leave us with the requirement to trust Him and be still when He knows that life, at times, feels impossible?
Before I share my view of that answer let me tell you a story.
About five years ago, a woman with a successful career and making good money sensed she was called by God to become a writer and national speaker. She had glimpses of the platform that move would take and the heights her dream would take her, but she had no definitive direction or details of His plan. She also sensed that God was calling her to a journey of struggle and trust. A clear detail of “closed doors in efforts for employment on her own” was given but again no other detail was offer regarding His plan.
She began the daunting challenge of learning how to write a book, researching, learning the industry and writing a book with a focus she was unsure in writing. Through the course of her first book, she losses her job, apartment, finds out she will remain childless, and continues to write with a purpose that is unclear. Despite her fears, she ended up writing a memoir about her life and the secrets that were kept. She still had no answers to His plan but through the release of her book, her sister comes to the Lord and acknowledges after 50+ years secrets she held in bondage and hears of lives being changed.
She prays and seeks for a steady job, a home of her own, and financial stability that evade her. Although God continues to provide shelter in hotel rooms, people’s homes, and rooms, the only confirming and constant message she receives is, “Trust Me, I’ve got you, just follow Me.” Over the next four years God continues to call her to different places, states, and situations. Despite the feeling of being “flaky”, not wanting to go, and other’s opinions and judgments regarding their belief of what God can do, she follows where He leads first testing and confirming the voice of God, through prayer, her pastor, wise counsel, etc. versus her own agenda. Although she cannot see the plan or purpose, lives are impacted, people rededicate and trust in the Lord, and her life is changing.
Times are desperate. Continual questions of God’s plan and the dream she believes she is moving toward remain a struggle. She writes a second book dealing with the struggle to hold onto and begin dreaming again after a journey of struggles, abuse, and curses. The media picks up her story. Over 300 people either rededicate their lives or come to the Lord. In His plan, celebrities, the imprisoned, CEO’s, ministry leaders, and
hurting people begin to hope and dream again and are encouraged through speaking, writing and mentoring. She did not orchestrate any of that or even realized those events would take place.
Again, the Lord has called her to follow Him, this time to another state. Her trust is wavering and she is weary of the struggles of the journey yet she follows. She was working on a third book about dreaming, pursuing and trusting completely in spite of the journey and hopelessness of the moments to help other hope and dream. Employment once again ended. Within months of moving, her rental car is broken into, her newly purchased car and all the money she had in the world (on the day she was planning to make a down payment on a home she finally would have) was stolen. Jobs she found and were hired for suddenly evaded her again, through cancellations, “We accidently over hired”, etc. She was left to live each word she wrote. She had to trust completely for shelter, finances, work and transportation with no money, bus line, or car.
By now, you have figured out that the woman in the story is me. In the midst of fears, worries, insane situations, job’s comforters, and doubt, the messages remains, “Trust Me, I’ve got you, just follow Me.” In the view of some, I am foolish and certainly sin is to blame. However, in the light of the Word, my experience, and growing trust that has overwhelmed me, I would not trade my life and this journey for all the fame, wealth or houses in the world. His plan daily take shapes, miracles appear, direction is clearer and hope is a sword.
Many are learning during these times that trust was NOT what they thought it was. So many times, we trust that God will provide the desires and situations we are asking because He is a loving God and will not leave us or forsake us. Instead, we miss the part where He asks, “Do you trust ME…period! It is easy to trust God when I believe He will do what I want. However, trust is put to the test when I trust in Him alone even if it means, I don’t get what I desire or when I want it, or He says, “What you are asking for is not the best for you” or I need to take you through a difficult journey in order for you to fully enjoy what you have asked in the best way possible.”
Trusting completely is not trusting in a situation, event, person, or thing from God. It is trusting that no matter what I see or don’t see, the wait, the journey, or the insanity, I trust that He is good and will ALWAYS do what is best for me. The bottom line of trust is really coming to terms with the question, “Do I really, really believe that God will always do what is best, loves me more than I could ever love myself, and everything He does or allows is for me best.” That is the question we all have to ask. If we don’t truly believe that then nothing else, including trust, matters.
Yes, like Job, I have demanded that God show me His hand and tell me why my journey is so hard as part of His plan. Yes, there are times when, like Job, I have cursed the day I was born and wanted out. Yes, there are times when I say, “I cannot take one more step!” However, like Job, I have and continue to learn regardless of what I am going through, other people, what I feel, see or don’t see, that I know my redeemer lives. Daily, I see miracles of answers to my need, God using me greatly in the lives of others in spite of my struggles, and learn laughable lessons and sensing Him saying, “See, I told you I got it handled.”
Despite the lies fed us of “A Godly and faith driven life means that things are going well and you are prosperous”, “If you are struggling, sad, or crying out then it’s because you are in sin” (all of us have sin in our lives and daily need to confess it), “Just send in your seed gift or pay for your miracle water or oil and God will bless you or you will receive money” (Personally, I hope there is a special punishment for the so called preachers who are stealing people’s money and lying to them that they can manipulate God by giving Him money or doing something to make Him do ANYTHING…Just had to get that out….Please don’t believe that lie. Your sending in your last dollar out of desperation while the preacher is making millions…no names mentioned) and other lies, the fact is God, not us, in the one is total control.
Hold on. You are not crazy, a loser, or foolish for holding on to Him during this time of insanity. Remember, according to the Word, all that is happening is supposed to happen. The question is can you trust HIM alone in the midst of the insanity knowing that a perfect plan is happening on your behalf. It might not look the way you expect (It won’t), happen in the time you expect (It won’t) or even how you expect (It
I encourage you as I encourage myself to:
2) Stop trying to figure things out, make assumptions of why things are happening, or demand that God explain Himself. (As a parent, you don’t have to explain why your pushing your child’s hand away from the stove’s fire. All they need to know, despite not understanding, is that you love them desperately and will do everything for their best)
3) Fight your fear. When we fear, immediately WE feel that WE have to find a way out and control the situation. The hardest thing to do is to say, “Yes, I’m afraid that things will not work out the way I want. However, I will trust that God has totally got this in control and even if it does not come out the way I want, He has got a way of escape and there is something He is doing that I can’t see or understand right now.” Take power from fear. It is impossible to trust God and fear at the
4) Let go of assumptions and expectations of what your life is SUPPOSED to be and what you’re supposed to have. Maybe He has way more for us than the little box of expectations we have.
5) Remember, our source of love, worth, and acceptance does NOT come from people, places or things. Our identity is in Jesus Christ alone. A job, fame, money, what people think of me etc, certainly impact me, but they have no power over me or who I am because they
are not my source.
6) Feel what you feel then try to hold onto the truth. Scream, shout, cuss, cry, ask God all the questions you have and let him know all your feelings. Then listen, be still and allow Him to answer. I know I would be dead if He did not continue to talk to me in my spirit like a two year old. The beauty of relationship.
7) Talk with a SAFE person who will listen and just be there. We all have junk. When we can stop pretending like we have it together, we can relax in knowing we can be ourselves.
Hang in there, my friend. You can do this. Trust the fact that there is a perfect plan in place (Jer. 29:11) and before you were born, He knew exactly how He was going to use your life, the struggles you would have, the greatness that will come from it. We will understand it better at a future time.
You are NOT walking this out alone. I promise you.
your fellow journeyer