When it comes to the small or meaningless things of life, it’s usually easy to trust.
We throw our trust at our jobs, our talents, our abilities, money, popularity … the list goes on and on. But these things are weak, fallible, and the moment all of it is no longer enough to lean on, what do we do?
I have experienced this situation multiple times in my life now, especially over the last couple of years. Things that I had put my trust in, felt sure were solid, stable things I could count on, were ripped from beneath me, leaving me stumbling to the ground in a panic. I could no longer find my footing. Like a sailor without a lifeline on a sinking ship, I was flailing for something solid to hold me up.
Of course, I had, and still have, the ultimate Lifeline to put my trust in--God. But, while trust seems a simple concept, the act of true trust is actually far more difficult than we realize until we have to do it.
According to Webster's English Dictionary, trust (as a noun) is defined as "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." Likewise, the verb form of trust is the act of having that firm belief.
To illustrate, trust is like grabbing hold of a liferaft in a raging ocean or pulling the string of a parachute when you’re hurtling through the air: you are depending on the object of your trust to keep you from death. Everything relies on this one thing, and if that thing fails you, then …
It sounds frightening when you put it that way, doesn’t it?
Perhaps that’s why we struggle to put our true trust in God without holding anything back. It means surrendering all control and letting Him carry us, even if solid ground is thousands of feet below us.
This is a common internal war, one we face regularly, if not daily. But when you really think about it, it sounds so foolish doesn’t it? Why should we be afraid to trust God? He is GOD, for goodness sake!
He is the King of the World.
The Creator of all things.
The Writer of the story of this earth.
And yet, we think He is going to fail us when we need Him most?
This current moment in our world is a prime example of having to place true trust in God. I will be the first to admit that I have been afraid over the last few months. I have felt the things that seemed so sure and certain slipping out from beneath my feet, and I’ve had many breathless moments of panic, wondering how things could ever possibly be OK.
But the longer this difficult season of disease and unrest continues, the more I am reminding myself of Who is my Lifeline. The God of the Universe is by my side, always waiting to hold my hand and keep me afloat. He has a plan in all things, which means--though it may not seem like it--He has a plan right now, too. He never let go of His control of this world. No chaos can overwhelm Him. Nothing can catch Him by surprise--not even a pandemic.
Earlier this week, I was reminded of the story of Job. He was a faithful and good man who loved God. But not even the faithful and good are exempt from hard times. God allowed Job to lose everything but his very life--his children, his wealth, his health. In his moment of anguish, Job was tempted to blame God and accuse Him of being unfair towards His servant. But after wallowing in self-pity, Job received a stern reality check.
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this”
(Job 38:1-18 NIV).
For four chapters, God spoke to Job and reminded him just Who was in control.
His ways were higher than Job could comprehend, and still today, His ways are higher than our feeble minds can understand. Even when life doesn’t go according to plan, when everything around us is thrown into chaos, He is still sovereign over all--so how can we not trust Him?
Charles Spurgeon once said,
“God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken; and when you cannot trace His hand, you can trust His heart.”
No matter what the circumstances look like or what else in our life has failed us, our Lifeline will never fail us. We must only let go of our desire to be in control, lean back into His peace, and ... trust.
Let me close with the words of a treasured old hymn that has spoken that peace into my heart more times than I can count. May they serve as a reminder to you, as well, to place your trust in our never-failing God.
'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
I'm so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.
Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
by Louisa M. R. Stead