“Do you trust me?”
“Do you trust me, Brandi?”
The Holy Spirit has been asking me this question for weeks. At home during devotions and prayer, at a recent women’s conference the teacher (Christine Caine) mentioned Jesus’ only expectation is for us to trust Him, and I just so happen to be reading a book (Paradox Lost) in which the author says “Trust is essential” in reference to our relationship with God. Each time my eyes skim across the word it’s as if He leans in and asks again. “Do you trust me?” It’s an invitational tone, not at all full of frustration. He already knows the answer to the question, but just like in the garden He wants to tend to my heart more than He desires me to answer. I see Him consistently laying His hand out for me to grab ahold, any time I’m ready.
My response has been a genuine, albeit hesitant, “I want to.” Each time I sit confessing that as my response, I feel a twinge of disappointment in myself. Why can’t I just trust Him?
My family and I recently visited the Rocky Mountains in Colorado for Spring break. We played, rested (altitude headaches anyone?), ate good food, worshipped, and wore our jammies more than I thought we would. We also stayed up to date, by staring at our phones (as much as possible with limited WiFi) with the happenings in the world. You know, COVID-19. I think it’s safe to say the times are strange, and normalcy and stability seem to be going out the window. Being away was a beautiful gift, but I hope you won’t mind if I confess I felt a lot heaviness, too? So many friends and family are losing their jobs, businesses being shut down, groceries selling out, compromised immune systems to consider, children being potentially unprotected, the list could go on, and the effects of the state of things are felt deep and wide.
About half way through our trip we decided to get out of our cabin for a bit and ended up on a drive up the mountains. About ten minutes up the drive I was captivated. The Lord seemed to hone my focus in on the beauty of the snow, the sheer size of the mountain, the creativity in the diversity of trees and wildlife. Then came the same question. “Do you trust me?” It was as if Holy Spirit leaned in and said, “Remember, all this was made with my word.” The Lord knew I needed to be reminded of just who He is, what He’s done, and to grasp my attention with His size, power, and beauty. “I’m in control. I’m a very present help in times of trouble.”
He shifted my focus. Off of myself, my circumstances, and what is lacking understanding, to Himself.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
For far too long I have been placing my trust knowingly or unknowingly in my own understanding of things around me. Circumstances, people, myself, even the past. This is a reason why I wasn’t trusting Him. Without realizing it, I’ve viewed the Lord through a lens of my own understanding and in ways that are actually not of His character. I thought I was protecting myself from harm, when in reality I’ve been hindering my relationship with the One who truly protects me, all the while judging myself not fully trusting Him.
Have you ever had a hard time trusting God is who He says He is, or surrendering an area of your life you’re still trying to understand? Do you ever feel frustrated or disappointed with yourself when things aren’t making sense?
Here’s what is true of Him:
- He is sovereign.
- He is loving.
- He is full of mercy.
- He is present.
- He is trustworthy.
- He does not lie.
- Nothing is hard for Him.
- He is making all things new.
(Maybe it would be helpful for you to ponder these truths with Him, as well. I’ve included scripture references for further study below.)
I’m not sure what the schedule or life will look like in the upcoming weeks, but I know confidently, however imperfectly, that the Lord will be near. We can trust Him. As many times as it takes, we can turn to Him and take ahold of His hand. Please hear me say, I’m not minimizing what you are experiencing. No one can take that from you. God knows the situations, realities, emotions, and hardships, and He meets us wherever we are. He doesn’t ask us to get it together or quit being emotional. He extends to us an invitation.
Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Maybe you have handled the last couple of weeks fully leaning into Him or maybe you’ve wanted to self-protect or fall apart. Either way, or anything in between, the invitation to us all is to trust Him. He, the Living God, is the someone we can believe is reliable, truthful, and has all the strength and ability needed. No matter what our experience is, my hope is to convey the message is still the same:
He is trustworthy and worthy of our trust.
Not because the world feels safe, or our minds are clear, or we understand our circumstances, but because He is trustworthy, good, and promises to be our peace (Isaiah 26:3) no matter what is swirling around or in our minds. He isn’t angry and frustrated with us for having difficult times or taking our time to turn back to Him. He’s reaching out His hand to help us (Isaiah 41:13), inviting us to take hold, be free, loved and grow with Him. He’s kind to us, so it may be time we’re kind to ourselves, too.
“God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”― Charles Spurgeon
If you’d like, join me in praying:
Father, I repent for my doubt in your trustworthiness. Please forgive me for placing my trust in anything other than you and leaning on my own understanding of things. Help me to see your true character in your Word and by your Spirit. I choose to forgive anyone who I have held offense towards, and ask that you would bless them with peace. I choose to lay down self judgements and ask that you would continue to show me your kindness that I might extend it to myself. I renounce any and all self-reliance or self-protection, and ask you Father to fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit that I might move and breathe and live more Christlike. I ask that anything false in my belief of who you are would be removed. Would you wash my mind clean and continue to show me what is true? I confess the circumstances of these days shift often, and I need your help. Would you open my eyes and ears to see and hear what you, Father, are doing? I praise you that you are trustworthy, that you will never leave me or forsake me, and you have extended an invitation for me to be in the very best relationship with you. I love you, God. I choose to trust in You and worship you alone, as many times as it takes, for You alone deserve my worship. In Jesus name, Amen.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
Scriptures for further study: Colossians 1:16-17, 1 John 4:8, Luke 6:36, Deuteronomy 31:8, Matthew 28:20, Numbers 23:19, Jeremiah 32:17, Revelation 21:5