God’s provision – this has been a theme in my personal life. Especially in the last five years. I have had some very challenging times with my marriage, family, and work, but all the while God provided in so many ways. Because God is great and is good, He is always setting up provisions and walking before me. God plans for us and puts things in place before we even realize we will have hardship. I joined an eGroup right before I experienced the worst part of my married life. God’s provision! The friendships I gained there helped me immensely and were an obvious example of how good God can be. God sets us up for success without us being aware. What a wonderful savior.
“God plans for us and puts things in place before we even realize we will have hardship.”
God’s provision should cause us to trust Him, but “trust” is such a funny word. Not funny “haha”, but funny in that it is subjective, relative and not tangible. It is something you do, not something that is. That’s the hard part. Trust has more to do with me: my choices, my words, my actions. My God is wonderful and so very reliable. Me – well – I’m human. Do I really need to say more?
When my husband and I were having a hard time, we went through a program called Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vie). During our weekends in this program a common theme arose: we make choices about actions that we’ve always considered to be emotions. I’ve heard and believed that love is a verb for a long time. You’re supposed to wake up and love your kids. You’re supposed to love your spouse even when you don’t feel like it. You’re supposed to do the right thing with your neighbor or family because it is a picture of God’s love. There’s choice in it because it’s an action.
Isn’t trust the same thing?
Trust as a verb – I’ve been struggling with this concept. It’s a conflict between what I believe and what I do. What does trust actually look like? Does trust mean I have peace with everything all the time because I trust in God? Are trust and faith interchangeable words? Is trust me being at war with myself and forcing myself to submit daily? Is it trust when I say, “I don’t know what to do or how to trust you Lord, I just need your help.”?
There are many examples of trust in the Psalms. David and other writers tell us, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 6:3) or “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). What does that mean?
As I write this all, I realize I don’t have an answer – which might be the point. I’m thinking now that trust is part of the journey with my Savior. It is part of my story. It may be, or may have been, part of yours too.
God is so amazing, that He speaks to our hearts and gives us hope or encouragement in many different ways. A few weeks ago I heard a story on the radio. This story was about two strangers who met at a bus stop. And as they began talking, the man asked many questions about this woman and her life. She answered him in generalizations – good, okay, hard, etc. He was persistent and kept pushing for specifics. She pushed back with more neutral comments. The man eventually broke down some walls with his persistence and convinced her to tell him more about her story – her life: the good, the bad, the sorrow, all of it. She told him about her breast cancer and the surgery.
The next thing he said is what’s important: don’t rob someone else of your story. Your story might be an encouragement to someone else. You might be God’s tool in someone’s life, sending them a message of hope. When we don’t talk about things that are real; the life that is hard and wonderful and exhausting and magnificent, we might just rob someone of what they need to hear.
“You might be God’s tool in someone’s life, sending them a message of hope.”
So this is my story. There is no one way to trust. There is no “answer” for the question of how to trust. I struggle to make the choice to trust every day, especially when things are hard. Even though God has always provided and come through each and every time. I am on this journey of life with a God who shows grace every day. Some days I wake up singing with a song of trust and love in my heart. But, I begin some days by simply saying, “God, I don’t know how to trust you in this, even though I know you will always provide.” Some days it’s easy to trust God and some days it is not. That is just the honest truth for me… that part of my story, like the woman with breast cancer, is hard to write, hard to say, hard to admit, hard to tell. That is my story. It’s only a small part, but it is an important part. And maybe my story was what you needed to hear.
At the end of the day, like the song says, He makes beauty from ashes, strength from tears. He makes gladness from mourning and peace from despair. That is part of my story too.
Side note: I highly recommend Retrouvaille for any marriage that is struggling or feeling disconnected. Times are hard, busy, or transitioning. It is beautiful way to learn how to communicate, listen and learn to love your spouse and marriage again.
About the author
Amy Bal has attended CCS for more than 20 years. She is involved in the children’s ministry and eGroups. She is a wife, a mother of two, and an Elementary Instructional Coach in the Kent School District.