I say quite often that I trust in the Lord for all things. And I do. That is, until I don’t. I mean I do trust him.
For most things.
I really do.
I am happy to say that more and more that is the case. I just wish it was the case all the time.
I wish I never had those “Oh my goodness” moments. You know the ones. Those moments where life throws you a curve ball, and the first response you feel is panic? I really so much want my go-to response to be to trust in Him, no matter what my situation. Thankfully, I can usually get to that place eventually, but it’s not always my initial landing place. Sometimes I have to circle around worry and panic a few times before I am able to land on fully trusting in God.
Take this past week, for instance. I got a call from my mother while I was at work. In all honesty, those calls always worry me. She knows I am at work, so she only calls me at work if she really has to. So I answer the phone already on the alert. She says calmly, “I’m a little worried about your dad.” Loosely translated this is, “It’s complete freak out time. Something is really wrong. Alert the media!”
I could feel my adrenaline already picking up. My pulse began to race a bit, but I breathed deeply and asked her to tell me what was up. The battle between panic and trust began again.
I know the Bible verses I need to go to in those times of unrest.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will set your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5
“God is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in times of trouble.”
“He will work all things to the benefit of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I used to spend a lot more time worrying than I do now. So I am making progress. But I think that any second we spend panicking over situations we have no control over will have us riding on the sin carousel. My first go-to verse tells me to trust in the Lord with my whole heart. With all of it. Not with most of it. What if the verse read this way?
“Trust in the Lord with most of your heart. But play it safe and lean some on your own understanding. When you can, acknowledge him, and he might help you out.”
That would make a lousy Bible verse. Who would read a Bible like that? I’d be taking that one back to the Bible store and getting my money back.
The Bible scolds us for worrying. It tells us that we can’t add a single day to our lives by worrying. (Luke 12:25) Ninety-nine out of a hundred things we worry over never actually come to pass anyway. But on the occasion that something does go awry, we are often surprised when that trouble comes our way. I’m not really sure why. The Bible tells us we will experience trouble. It guarantees that it will find us, and it gives us fair warning. Whether we send trouble an engraved invitation by our own poor choices, or whether we are innocent bystanders, we are targeted for trouble. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Earth was supposed to be Utopia. Yet all that changed when sin entered the picture and we’ve been plagued with trouble ever since.
I do really strive to trust the Lord in all things, and with my whole heart. If I am honest, I must admit that I am not always successful immediately. I’m not happy about this, and I am trying to rest in the Lord during times of uncertainty from the very moment that uncertainty presents itself.
Just imagine how great our lives would be if we were truly able to take all things that this life has to throw at us in perfect stride. How great would our faith truly be then? Remember the story in the New Testament of the storm on the Sea of Galilee? (Mark 4:35-40) Jesus had fallen asleep in the boat after a really tiring day of preaching, and the disciples were left to man the vessel. Suddenly, a storm came upon them and these seasoned sailors were experiencing a total come apart. Jesus was right there, in the flesh, with them and they still freaked out. Now normally I never underestimate the value of a good hissy fit, but really… Jesus was RIGHT THERE.
When they woke Jesus to tell them they were all about to die, he was disappointed in their apparent lack of faith. He was not impressed with their hissy fit. With a word, Jesus calmed the storm and they were all safe and sound. There was no need for the panic. Jesus was right there with them and he had everything under control. Are we so different? Even now, no storm is too great that he cannot calm it or walk us through it.
It is not his desire that we are tossed about by every wave that hits us. It is his desire that we learn to ride out those waves and trust in him to take care of us. Things are often out of our control, but they are never, not for one second, out of his.