It is not a new insight that I have trouble with trust. I know that. I’m working on removing barriers to trust in my life. That’s still a work in progress.
But trusting GOD? Every time I catch myself being surprised that God actually did what He says He will do I am totally blown away. It makes me want to jump up and down and yell from the rooftops, “Look, look! He did it again! Just like the Bible says!”
And then I immediately think, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I surprised that God keeps His word? Don’t I trust God? How dare I not trust God? Isn’t that a sin?” Etc., etc., etc. — it’s a habit of mind that … I think … has caused many people to tell me I think too much about [just about everything].
So Jesus makes some pretty hefty promises to His followers in the Bible. It’s easy for me to believe that He would and did keep those promises back in Biblical times … but much harder for me to believe that He is still keeping those promises now, today, to me and those I know, in miraculous ways perhaps, just as He did in Biblical times.
I have questioned myself repeatedly, “Does this mean that I don’t truly Believe? Am I a fake Believer because when the chips are down it still surprises me when God does what He said He’d do? If I truly believe God’s Word, shouldn’t I not be surprised when He does exactly as He says He will?”
Well, for better or for worse (and I may change my mind about this again some time – I definitely don’t have all the answers), I’ve been coming to a more self-forgiving place in my own heart.
Maybe my own surprise and awe is not so much because I don’t trust God, but more that I don’t want to take Him for granted. I think its a good thing to keep getting blown away by the Grace that He gifts to me. I mean, I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m thinking, “Yeah, yeah, God keeps His word, I already know that – He always does – so what else is new?”
At any rate, I do also realize that I need to exercise some measure of self-control in jumping up and down and telling everyone all about it every time I’m blown away by God keeping His promises. I think there are some people who feel bad about their own relationship with God when I do that … because their own totally awesome relationship with God is different from that … and that is absolutely NOT my intent.
I fully believe that God works differently in each of His children’s lives. I don’t know why I have been so blessed as to have such frequent personal interaction with Him — but I absolutely do NOT believe it is because I am any better than anyone else. God does what He does for His own reasons, and His reasons are not our reasons; His understanding is not our understanding; His knowledge is not our knowledge.
I do believe, though, that God does miraculous things in order to get people to focus more on Him … not to impress people or to magically relieve us of responsibility to other humans for righting those wrongs we have committed against other people. And when we are charged with spreading the Good News, I think it would be wrong not to share our awe at His work in our own life.
So let me try to say with no hint of bragging or other sinful way of putting it — God has once again come through in answer to my prayers in a huge and totally awesome way. It blew me away. It has to do with God promising that if we trust in Him, He will provide what we need to do His work. It is easy for me to believe with my head that He will do this, and it is only a little less easy for me to act as though I believe it — but in my heart of hearts I am still totally blown away when I see that actually happen when I wasn’t really expecting it.
I think when I pray for God’s help it’s more like, “Well God, I sure know how I’d like for this to go, but I have no idea if that’s Your Will or not, but I hope it is & I really need your help here.” And then I assume that God’s way probably isn’t my way so I don’t expect to get what I prayed for. (Or something like that.)
So when it all works out (even if not exactly the way I was imagining it would) I DO feel that my prayers were answered, and I do feel amazed.
That just happened to me again, as part of the process of attempting to set things right with other humans I wronged in various ways before I came to Jesus. I know God has forgiven those sins – but I believe it is still up to me to set things right with other people who suffered because of my own actions (or inactions).
I had no idea how I was going to be able to do this … but I knew I needed to try. So I prayed for His help and took a deep breath & faced some wreckage head-on that I would have preferred not to think about at all.
And God came through – Big Time.
Hallelujah! God is so awesome! I am once again blown away by His Grace. Praise God!