How do I trust God again? That’s the question I keep on asking myself. I keep on reading all these books on suffering from brilliant men and women whose greatest trials seem overwhelmingly insignificant. I don’t want to hear someone tell me to trust the Lord when their greatest difficulty still allows for breaks and downtime. I have no downtime or breaks. Every day I get up and battle my symptoms. I battle for truth. I battle for right thinking. There are some moments where my mind is so confused that I can’t even recognize the truth when I hear it.
So how do I entrust my life to the Lord when He has permitted great harm to me?
Let me be clear that I entrust my soul to Jesus. I know without Him, I have no hope. Even with my messed up mind, the Gospel is still sacred and Jesus still precious. It always will be. I know that my hope lies In Jesus alone and for that, I am eternally grateful. In all my suffering and confusion I praise the Lord for the cross that saved my soul and the death that brought me life.
But how do I trust the Lord with my earthly life after He has permitted me to be so completely undone? I don’t know how to answer this. I know what I should say and do but I don’t know how to take the theological truth and apply it to my heart. Can I say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him”…not yet. I know that this is in part due to my mind being so confused- that’s what a toxic chemical does to your brain, my thinking is just not clear or normal right now, but my rational mind is just as confused. I realize just how much I don’t understand God’s ways.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” This verse has never been more real to me then it is now. As foolish as this may sound, I thought that I understood God somewhat…not fully of course, but in a human sense, I thought I understood God based on some principles and promises from Scripture. What I have come to realize is that I don’t understand the Lord at all. I may understand the truths of scripture but His ways, are a mystery to me. Clearly He is far above me in every way. I don’t know the purpose of Him permitting my injury but never in eternity would I have ever thought that He would allow such harm to my brain.
Yet even now, in spite of it all, I do praise Him and I hope I get to the place where I trust Him again with my physical person. I am not trying to be unChristian, just honest. I don’t believe it always comes that easily. I believe we have some expectations and boundaries of God and when He steps out of them, it causes us to pause and find our grounding again. He moves as He wills and does as He wants – it is His right as the Potter. But it doesn’t make it easy for me as the clay!
It is very easy to surrender under His will when His hand touches the external, but the minute His hand touches our body or mind in any significant way, that takes time. This is what happened with Job. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) when his children and possessions were touched, but when His body was touched all bets were off. Job was confused and rightly so! I think in part, its because as Christians, we feel safest with God, and when the Lord moves in a way that shatters that safety, it is very perplexing. Does God mend and heal and restore and redeem… every time! But until you are on the other side of the valley, all you see is a God who suddenly has become confusing and that can be quite scary. At least it is for me. So to trust again takes time.
Does He deserve my trust, yes He does! He has always been faithful to me! In spite of that truth, I still find myself unable to get there just yet. I am thankful He remembers I am but dust.
I know God works all things for the good, and some would say that means that may not be realized here on this earth but sometimes it is hard to see the good in our circumstances…it just is. It is hard when God calls our children home, or inflicts us with a disease, or permits an injury, or takes away our living, or allows our name to be maligned or doesn’t seem to answer our prayers. It is hard to see some people prosper and some Christians only have blessings poured out on them. It is hard to wait all the time and know that He could do a great thing but doesn’t. It takes a lot of faith to keep on believing. Maybe that’s the power of faith- to believe in spite of every reason not to. Faith presses in when turning away seems right. It continues when quitting makes the most sense. Because it is not of man but of God. And when God does something, it can’t fail because He doesn’t fail!
I can’t tell you how many times I have told the Lord that I don’t want to talk to Him at that moment…then ten minutes later I find myself praying…. it’s comical. The truth is I have nowhere else to go but Him. I have no one else but Jesus to hope in, both in this world and the next. I am hoping in time He will take my mustard seed faith and make it a mighty tree again. I long for my heart to soar once more at the knowledge of His presence and the peace that only He can bring.
I know He makes all things beautiful in its time, so I wait!
Until then I worship Him with my writing and push forward every day offering my mustard seed to the Lord…believing Him to get me through my day. Hoping in a better tomorrow. Knowing that God is able, amen, and amen.