I’ve not had to mow much this summer due to the extreme drought conditions here in southern Illinois. When I mow, it’s my chance to “read”, think, and pray without interruption. I’ve missed mowing this summer. :) Last week, thanks to Isaac, the grass was green and thick again and as I mowed I contemplated a question that has tugged at my heart and mind for a couple years now.
Discussions abound on the trustworthiness of God. I’m sure a stack of books a mile high could be found on the need for us to trust God. But what of the question, can God trust me? I know, I know, trust is about things like not being in control and not having knowledge. Really can we call it trust if we have knowledge? So is trusting even something we should think about an all-knowing, self-reliant God doing? Well, I’ll leave that debate to the theologians. But it is a thought that has me searching my heart and soul. The question came to me two years ago when I was in a very dark place emotionally and physically. I felt as if I was a drowning women grasping at waves to stay above water. I prayed for God to save me from that place that felt like death. I cried out to Him again and again, that even in this dark place I would trust Him. It sounds so dramatic, but it was very real and it was all that got me out of bed every morning. In spite of how I felt and in spite of the heavens being quiet with nothing changing, it always brought me peace to trust Him. So I settled back on my mower one day and listened again to the book of James. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith(trust) produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith(trust), with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” That’s when the thought hit me. I had chosen to trust God, but could He trust me? This trial… this dark time….could He trust me with it? Could he count on me to continue to say, “Not my will, but Thine be done” even now? Would I be a double-minded woman? Or would I endure and let His perfect work be done in me? I wondered if I would trust Him if it meant being in this dark place forever? It took some time of soul searching and gut honesty before I was ready to say, that yes, even if it was forever, I would trust Him. I ceased to pray that the darkness would lift and started to pray that he would help me to be faithful to him and my family and my duties through it.
Since then the cloud has lifted and even now with “normal” life trials I still pray that He will help me to be trustworthy. That I would be the kind of child that He could count on to trust Him in the very hard things. Last week I mowed and listened to an album entitled, “Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman. All the songs were written from his heart after the tragic death of his daughter. He seems to scream from a bleeding soul, “I will trust you, trust you, I will trust you God I will. Even when I don’t understand…” Song after song is a cry of trust in a time so dark it makes my bout of darkness look like a bright summer afternoon. And again, I was challenged, “Lord, could you trust me with even that? Do I want your will even if it means that kind of pain?” Please don’t misunderstand; I don’t think tragedy falls from the hand of God. I believe with my whole heart that the world is fallen and because of that, unthinkably terribly things happen. But I do know our human tendency is to turn our backs on the same God we fail to thank for all the good things we experience the majority of our lives. So can He trust me to trust Him? Am I the kind of daughter that He can trust with the darkest of times and know that I will cling to Him and come forth as gold? Believe me, I don’t ask for the opportunity to prove it. But, I will continue to ask myself this question. Because whether God “trusts” people or not, I need to continue to search my soul and be sure that I can trust myself.