When Trust Doesn’t Come Easy

I was just a kid, praying every night that Daddy would come home safe.

My dad was a police officer, working undercover, and I soaked up the palpable fear the surrounded my mother like an aura.  I absorbed her anxiety like a sponge, and prayed frantically for his safety.  And although he did come home safely, night after night, the anxiety never left.  Feeling helpless is not my cup of tea.  I guess I’ll just put it out there: I have trust issues.

In fact, trust is what I do worst.

Doubt, what-if, and all that…I do it well.  (I’ve had several decades worth of practice.)  I am a planner.   Does that surprise you?  Chronically, annoyingly, always planning.  It comes in handy as the mother of 3 little ones.  At any given moment, I may need to change an outfit, a diaper or two, apply bug spray or sunscreen, dole out snacks, or pass out sippy cups.  They might need their hats, their favorite blankies, or their toy-of-the-moment.  And I always, always, try to have extra pacifiers in the event of a meltdown.  It’s just how I’m wired.  I have friends who are good, good moms – who aren’t that way at all.  They are laid back, relaxed, and don’t need a full-on baggage train everywhere they go.

But I am not so much a “it’ll be okay” kind of a gal…I’m more the “I will plan, prepare, and make sure that it is okay” kind of gal.  Which is why 2 Chronicles 20 blows me away.  I was reading the story of King Jehoshaphat and Judah this morning, and the level of trust they demonstrated floored me.  See, disaster is upon them.  Three enemy armies were poised for the kill.  And King Jehoshaphat had not even the beginnings of a tactical strategy.  There was no plan A, let alone B or C.  He simply gathered together his people and spoke to the Lord.  His prayer was brief and to the point.  In essence, what he said was: “We don’t have a clue or even a hope if You don’t come through for us.  But we’re trusting and looking to You.”

Then they just stood there.

And they waited for God to show up.

That, my friends, is mountain-moving faith.  Anyone else awed by that?  I am a slow learner, because it occurs to me that God always shows up.  Always.  And yet, I need my contingencies in place, my itemized fall back plan for “just in case.”  God doesn’t need a net.  He’s got this.  We can throw out the crumpled and bent crutch of our own weak understanding and submit to Him as God.

The whole nation of Judah just stood and waited for God.  They stepped back from their plans, their egos, their solutions, and they trusted hands far bigger than their own.  Why is that so hard, for crying out loud?

The truth is, when we stand back…LOOK OUT.  Look out, because it’s then that God can take our battles and make them His own.  All we need to do…all we ever, really need to do is:

  • lay it out before Him, acknowledging our inability to fix it
  • wait for His direction
  • obey
  • praise Him for His deliverance.

The. End.

Wait, what?

The nation of Judah didn’t wait to see if God kept His word.  They started the after party before God delivered them.  Stunning.  And I’m challenged to have that kind of unshakeable trust, to instinctively know that God isn’t going to fail to show up.  But there are so many roadblocks to getting there.

It occurs to me that it would be so much easier to trust if God and I could get on the same page about priorities.  You know, keeping me comfortable hovering right around the top of the list.  But even a cursory glance at Scripture shows that to be wishful thinking, and I know that this life is not about quick, pretty, easy living.  That’s not reality.  Life is hard, and there’s no pretending otherwise.  It’s not even good for us to have everything we want.  (Doubt that?  Spend an afternoon with a spoiled rich kid.)

It’s when things get ugly (like, 3-armies-attacking-ugly) that we have the opportunity of a lifetime.  We can choose trust, or we can choose fear.  We can choose God or panic.  And really, we can choose deliverance or slavery to doubt.

And it doesn’t even start there.  It starts months and years earlier.  In all the little everyday ugly moments – the toddler meltdowns, the snappy words that bubble up quick and hot, the spilled juice and tracked-in mud, the washer’s-not-working-again…those are practice runs.  Little opportunities to trust God’s goodness or doubt it, windows to see Him as faithful, or look away.  My Dad always says, “Train hard; fight easy.”  Judah didn’t turn to God by chance.  They had lots and lots of practice.  I want victory over those trust issues, and I have to believe that I’m not alone in that.  But victory, as Miss Clara says in The War Room, doesn’t happen by accident.

We have the opportunity to be women of intentional, purposeful trust in the Lord.  We can walk it out in the day-to-day of everyday life, deliberately choosing to infuse our hearts with the truth about God, or by default, mistrust will creep in and sabotage us.  Desperately, we need to renew our minds every day with Scripture, because you and I need to know deep in our hearts Who we can trust when the day of disaster hits.

Jesus is better than any list, any fall back plan, any “just in case.”  He is faithful, 100%.  And when you’ve got Jesus, and He’s got you, a contingency plan just isn’t necessary.  He’s the Alpha and the Omega – literally the A-Z.  Friends, He isn’t just plan A, He’s plan A through Z.

And that’s my kind of prepared.

 

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