Trust is one of the hardest things about following the Lord.
During an encounter I had with The Lord a few weeks ago, I was struggling to see His plan for me as better than what I wanted for myself. As I was writing, I was arguing with God, sitting there trying to bargain with the One who made me. As silly as that sounds, there I was trying to tell him that since I think I give him a lot, he should give me what I want. I wanted things my own way so much that I was willing to try to confine the Creator of the universe into a small entity that I could understand in a pathetic attempt to get what I wanted. As I was writing all of my frustrations and justifications of why what I wanted was best, a small voice invaded my thoughts and stubbornly repeated one phrase over and over until my obstinate mind finally understood what it was asking me: Don’t you trust me?
I was taken aback when I first heard it and tried to ignore those words, but the same question kept coming. Don’t you trust me? I finally acknowledged it was there, but I made excuses.
Of course I do, God, of course I trust you.
Then give your plans to me. I know better than you do.
Well I would, Lord, but this time is different. I’m sure this time that this is what’s best for me.
And so it went, me arguing with God. The God who designed me. The God who gave me breath. The God who knew these desires would be in my heart before the beginning of time. In response to my stubbornness, the voice did not change; it was as still, small, and unrelenting as ever. This started to wear me down, but I continued to voice my concerns of surrendering to Him everything I wanted.
God, if I give my plans to you, what if I never get what I want?
My promise doesn’t involve giving you exactly what you want, it involves giving you what you need when I decide you need it.
I wasn’t sure I liked that answer. Surrendering my plans to God meant that I needed to exchange something certain and tangible for something uncertain and unknown? No thank you, I’m a planner. I like to know the future.
But then it occurred to me at that moment that it is impossible to trust in certainty. Think about it; when you know something for sure, trust doesn’t need to be present anymore, it is replaced with knowledge. So, as much as I want my own plans, trusting that God knows better for my life and holding on through that uncertainty is what builds trust in God, not me asking for trust as I continue to selfishly implore that he give me what I think I need. Trust is knowing that even if I don’t get what I want, I will get what is best for me, given to me by a God who knows me infinitely better than I could ever know myself and who wants the best possible life for me.
But how I stray! How I argue! How I refuse to look at the big picture! Over and over I beg and plead for what I want and time and time again he gently reminds me that I don’t know for what I am asking. Every time I think I am finally starting to trust and not question his plan, something happens to put me back into being selfish and I start the process over again.
And then God breaks me again with the same question that I so willingly and habitually ignore: Don’t you trust me?
When I hear that, I am forced to admit that I’m not trusting in that moment and have to continuously pray for The Lord’s peace and willingness to trust in that which isn’t seen. As Hebrews 11:1 so eloquently puts it, Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see, this is what our lives need to look like: being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And through the times when we want our own plan, we need to hold on to the assurance that we will get what we need, even if it isn’t what we want. Don’t you trust me?
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
John 14:1 (NIV)