When I was little, my bedroom window faced the street in front of my house. We lived in a court and my dad always parked his little red Toyota Corolla along the curb.
When people ask about my earliest memory, it’s waking up in the blue glow of dawn as I hear my dad start his car. I rush to the window to watch him put on his seatbelt and drive away. I always wondered where he went during the day. I was old enough to know that he worked in an office Monday through Friday and that’s where he said he spent his days, but I always wondered if that’s what he really did. Maybe adulthood was just an enigma to me, where they were allowed to make up all the rules and do whatever they wanted. Or maybe it was the first sign that I had trust issues.
Because I do.
I can’t pinpoint any moment where my trust was broken or I made a conscious decision to be weary of others, I just always have been. And of course, every time something happens to validate my mistrust, I make a mental note to strengthen the walls I put up around my heart.
To trust, is to open your heart up to be broken. It’s so vulnerable but it’s an important risk to take. It’s an essential part of every deep relationship. I just don’t do it well.
I don’t trust the commercials when they say it will make my skin glow. I don’t trust my husband when he says he’ll leave work at 5. I don’t trust my son when he says he brushed his teeth. That’s probably healthy enough.
But I also don’t trust scholars who have done their research until I have done my own. For a long time, I didn’t trust God, either.
People have tried to tell me how to trust God:
My uncle (a gifted pastor) used to use an analogy that God was like a chair. You can SAY you trust the chair. You can read all about it’s strength and how it was made. You can go to the chair store and talk to others all about the chair, even tell them everything you know about it. You can even sing songs about the chair, but you haven’t really trusted it unless you have placed yourself in its seat and put your full weight in the chair, not relying on your own strength to keep you up at all.
God is trustworthy. You can put your full weight on Him. I just don’t know what that means most days. Trusting God doesn’t mean that you sit around and do nothing. So, how do I trust God with my kids. I want to follow them around everywhere and make sure they’re safe and making good choices. I can’t. How do I trust God with my future, am I supposed to sit around and wait for him to make things happen?
No. Proverbs 3:5-10 spells it out for us:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Don’t just sit around waiting but don’t try to go your own way either. Seek his will and he will show you which path to take. Honor God with everything you have, not to gain something in return, but because it was he who gave it all to you.
So, in real life, when I feel like I don’t know how to trust God with my kids, he’s asking me to give up control- give him my worries. Do my best and trust that God is holding them in his hands and loves them way more than I do.
When I don’t know how to trust God with the unknown future, ask! He will direct our paths. He will provide. He wants us to cast our cares on him and let him carry our burdens. He won’t let us down.
But here’s the deal, if things don’t go our way, he can still be trusted. The very next verses in Proverbs 3 are important:
11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
God has the big picture in mind. He loves us so unconditionally that he absolutely wants the best for us. That doesn’t mean that life will be easy. The best thing for us is often the path less traveled, rough and ragged along the way. We see everything so immediately and forget that good things in life take hard work and rocky journeys lead to beautiful scenery.
God can be trusted.