I have been pondering the meaning of life this week. LOL! I know, that sounds rather...shall I say...obnoxious, doesn't it? Seriously, though, God has really been working in my heart on the issue of faith & trust.
This is an area where I feel that I have truly grown in the last 18 years. Fear has always been a biggie for me. I have heard so many wise & pithy sayings regarding fear and the life of the Christian, and, try as I might, I just couldn't get past it. I feared all sorts of things: financial ruin, death- of my hubby and each of my children, not pleasing God, being wrong, not being accepted...oh, the list goes on & on.
I remember one time in particular when I woke in the middle of the night paralyzed with fear. I couldn't even reach over to wake my hubby. I had to talk because I was too afraid to move. I asked him to turn every light in the house on...no help. I asked him to pray...no peace. I could literally FEEL the fear trying to take hold of me as I lay perfectly still in my bed. Finally, he called our pastor & he prayed with us both & helped us to rebuke that spirit of fear that was trying to suppress me! Finally, I received relief & fell asleep.
The Bible says that fear is NOT of the Lord.
Makes perfect sense, and yet....HOW, with our feeble minds do we learn to have blind trust?
The only way I know of is: experience.
And yet, that doesn't seem right.
A baby is born & has blind trust that it's parents will take care of it, and, if all goes well, they do. However, if the parents are neglectful or abusive, then the child slowly learns to mistrust them.
Is our God like that?
Maybe it is this human nature. Maybe by the time we are old enough to know better, we have been let down enough times for us too be wary of an unseen God. How can you trust that which you cannot, at the very least, SEE?! So, we make Him "prove" Himself to us.
"Well, if God helps in THIS way in this situation...THEN I'll trust Him".
What if He doesn't?
What if "THIS" way isn't HIS way?
So often, I find that I have wrapped God up in a nice little box with a tidy little bow (red, of course) on it & said, "Here's how You need to handle this...now, I'm 'trusting' You!"
How He must laugh!
Through the years, He has been oh so good to me. He has gently turned my fears in to falsehoods, time and time again. And, when my fears have been realized as truths, He's held me & helped me through them with such grace & mercy.
Not so long ago, I truly struggled with a situation that I felt God had "done" to me. I flat-out told Him, "I am too mad at You to talk to You right now!" I went for quite awhile giving God the "cold shoulder", and, as I think back, that was such a lonely time for me. I knew my anger was misplaced, but I really didn't know where else to place it. I didn't feel that I could trust Him to take care of me through what was about to be required of me. Because I didn't feel adequate for the job He had given me, I didn't trust Him.
Let me say that again: Because I didn't feel adequate.....I didn't trust Him!
Imagine that! I was mad at God because He hadn't asked me if I could handle it first! I wasn't in control, therefore, I didn't trust God. Sounds rather warped, doesn't it?
"I will trust You as long as You do it my way." hmmm....
When I look back at all the times I've cried. All the times I've fretted & obsessed. All the times I've ranted & panicked. And then how, with the greatest of ease, God has "handled" it, I am ashamed of myself. Embarrassed, even.
Fear is NOT of the Lord! It isn't. It is a product of our own mind. I put God on the same level as a fallable human because, well, I really can't fathom anything else. Does that make me right?
I have been trying something different for the last few "trials" *chuckle*. I think about the situation, then consider the worst outcome. Next, I think of what would happen if God didn't take care of it the way I think it should be handled. Then, I just consciously....let it go. I remember all the times He's brought us through a seemingly impossible time. I remember how He's held us. Then, I swallow my fear, and, everytime it rises up, I just remember. Sometimes, I sing a faith-building song or recall my life's scripture (which God was so wonderful to give me during the time I was 'mad' at Him), "I can do ALL things throught Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillippians 4:13.
One more story, again, from the amazing Haitian people (this is true, AND recent!)
A man had died and his family was preparing to have his funeral & burial. However, Bro. Josef (sp?) told them to wait. He said, "We have not excerised faith!"
He told them to wait for 3 days & pray & fast (I think) for this man. Would you believe that man is ALIVE today??? Our brothers met him!! No kidding. A modern-day Lazarus! Oh...I serve an awesome God!
Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief!