Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Trusting God isn't Easy

***As a general rule, I always try to keep my posts on the short side. But today there is much on my heart I need to share. Please, please - take your time in reading and allow God to speak to your heart.***

Sometimes it is easy to trust God, isn't it?
Sometimes He shows Himself so clearly and we cannot deny His presence. We see Him moving and we cannot help but rejoice and give Him praise. I love it when He moves like that, and you know I love to give testimony every time.

But sometimes trusting God isn't so easy.
Sometimes we don't see Him moving. We don't understand what He's doing and we wonder what's going on.

I have been praying for a few situations which have recently caused me to increase my heavenly petitions. The earthly circumstances had become grim, but God gave me hope anyway.
As He does so often, God had me in just the right scripture on just the right day. I was thinking about these grim circumstances and found myself reading John 11 – the story of Lazarus' death, and Jesus' demonstration of power and authority as He raised Lazarus from the dead.
I read that story and thought about Mary and Martha's belief that it was all over for Lazarus. They thought Jesus had missed the opportunity to help their sick brother, because he was now dead. But Jesus knew the sickness was not going to end in death. He knew the situation was for God's glory. And He told the women if they just believed they would have that for which they asked.
I rejoiced in that story and spent time meditating on the truth that things are not always as they seem. Lazarus' death wasn't the end. It was a resurrection in the making!
And I began praying for these grim situations with the view that – although they appeared to be deaths, they could just be resurrections in the making.
In the following days I continued to be in scripture which pointed to Lazarus' miracle and which reminded me that whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe you have received it, it will be yours. (Mark 11:24) I felt like God was assuring me He was in the process of working miracles for these situations and I was praying and praying and praying. I was believing God would work a resurrection.

So yesterday I found out one of the situations has been put on hold. It isn't over. My friend is still fighting. But I was praying for a resurrection, not more waiting. And I have to admit I was disappointed.

And this morning I found out the little baby I have been praying for passed away yesterday. Sunday night I joined a bunch of other people – begging God to heal this little boy here on earth. It really looked like he was being healed. Even the doctors thought there was some divine intervention happening. I was sure He was going to bring a resurrection out of what had appeared to be a death.
I was sure of it.
Hadn't the Spirit been confirming these things to me over the past week?
But yesterday the baby died. And this morning I sat in front of my computer reading about it, with tears streaming down my cheeks, my heart breaking, and lots of questions flowing heavenward.
Why, God?
I thought You were giving us a resurrection. What happened?
Have I been hearing You wrong these past few days?
Was my faith not strong enough?
God, I know You have all the power and authority. What's going on here?
And what does this mean for all the other situations about which I have been praying? Can I still have hope for them???

The roads were icy this morning, causing a two-hour delay for school, so my kids were all home while this was going on with me. Thus I retreated to my bedroom to cry with Jesus, to talk with Him, and to let Him comfort me. I curled up with Him just like I told you about in this video, and I just let my tears and thoughts and feelings fall on Him.
And God's Spirit reminded me of this:
* God is still good. Though I do not understand the why's and wherefore's of His actions - God is still good.
* God did heal that baby boy. I wanted him to be healed here on earth, but that was not God's plan. That baby boy is free from all pain and needles and tears, and he is resting in the arms of Jesus right now.
* My friend's situation is not over. God may still resurrect her dream. Things are not always as they appear.
* God is worthy of praise whether He moves in the ways I want Him to, or not.
* And, I can trust Him in every moment of every day - to do what is good and right - whether I understand the reasons, or not.

So what do we do when trusting God isn't easy?
What do we do when we don't understand what's going on?
I have been immersed in these thoughts and I keep coming back to this one thing: I know who God is. I know He is good. I have seen His goodness and faithfulness in the past, and I know He doesn't change. And so...I choose to trust God, even when trusting Him isn't easy.

Where are you today, my friend? If you are in a situation like mine, I trust God has brought you here according to His perfect timing, and I pray He has spoken words of hope to your heart.
You can trust Him!

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Praise and Coffee said...

I've found that when trusting Him is easy, it really doesn't require my faith to be "active."

For me, the rubber meets the road when I really don't "get it."

When faced with these kinds of painful situations that we just don't understand, we have a choice to make- walk through it in trust or walk through in fear...the Word says that without faith it's impossible to please Him.
So I conclude from that, that just the state of trust and faith that I am in -is pleasing to Him.

No matter how it works out, I've pleased my God by believing Him.

I've never grown more than in those types of battles.
I have had to refuse myself the priviledge of asking 'why?' more than once- and then I trust that the answer I need will be revealed in due time.

Sorry about your friends baby, how devastating. I pray they are comforted.

Jessica said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear about the baby, for the parents' sake especially.
You're right. Trusting God can be difficult. The story of Lazarus is such a great example. It's been awhile since I read that and I'm thankful you shared.

luvmy4sons said...

I so appreciate your heart...your transparency. When I think of the Lazarus story I also think of poor Mary and Martha...they waited and Jesus did not come. They waited and he was dead four days. There was a lot of pain and agony...suffering...questions...and they got to see the reason for it-God glorified in the resurretion of Lazarus- this side of heaven. I try to tell myself that just because I don't get see it, like Martha and Mary did this side of heaven, doesn't mean that there isn't something bigger and better happening. God's purposes are greater than my experiences. I am so sorry for this family. I pray they know God's comfort in a special way in the next days and years. Bless you too for your post.

Iris said...

Thanks for your honest post. It spoke to my waiting heart and I am encouraged.

Praise and Coffee said...

When I re-read my comment, I realize that it sound much colder than I meant it to!
I thought your post was beautifully written, I loved it. I was just trying to share how I walk through it.
I hope it didn't come across too analytical!

I feel like I have been where you are so many times over the past 5 years so God has really drilled this into my head. TRUST ME!

Love you!

km said...

In High School, I took calligraphy. My mom chose a piece for me to write out for her. It hangs in her home, my Grandparents, and my Aunt & Uncle's.

God is to Wise to be mistaken
God is Good to be unkind
So when you don't understand,
When you can't see His plan,
Trust HIS heart.

And all these years later...these words are embedded in my mind. Some days, I'll admit that I must quote them to keep me going.

Shane, Greta, Seth and Gage Owens said...

Thank you for this post. And its amazing because I have felt the SAME things you felt and God has been ministering to my heart just the same way He has with you. It was like I was reading something I wrote.
I love you.
I really, really do.
I am feeling hopeful and at peace.

Happyhome said...

Great reminder Karen. Still trying to trust him here in the midst of "stuff". I know He's working, but just when I thought it was getting better I realize it hasn't...that's when it gets tough.


Edie said...

This is a really great post Karen. I think we all come to a place where we ask these same questions. I know I have asked them exactly as you wrote them out. This is part of the proving of our Faith.

I read Phillip Yancy's book "Disappointment with God" when I was going through a long and intense time of trial and wondering these things. It was a hard read but really did shed light on this. This is the point where many whose seed did not fall in fertile soil, walk away from God. Those who cling to Him come through it stronger.

Thank you for posting this. We all need this reminder again and again.

Anonymous said...

this is sort of a tangent, but I love the sufficiency of scripture. The fact that the word from God you need is there. It's all there and God took you to it when you needed it.

We serve an amazing God.

I praise Him for you and for your tender heart and the courage HE gave you to share this with us and be this open.

Amanda said...

These words are WISE beyond my comprehension. I just finished Believing God by Beth Moore, and it took me 9 weeks to just 'kinda' get what you have so gently spoken in your few words.

I love that even though you told God to move a mountain, and it sisn't appear that He did, you believed Him anyway.

That is FAITH. And you know God doesn't want perfection. He wants Faith.

WEll done good and faithfull servant.

Go dbless-

Amanda said...

Sorry for the double posting... feel free to delete one of those! God bless-

kreed said...

Such wise words...thank you! And prayers for you and all involved with the baby's family. It is in God's hands but it is still heartbreaking.

Jennifer said...

It was great to meet you last night! Thank you for sharing with us. Come check out my blog today I shared about the night.

Rochelle said...

I wish I could tell you that I have been consitent with trusting God, but that wouldn't be accurate. I typically think I have a great trust in Him until I glance back and my behavior is inconsistent with my words. I believe with all my heart that all things work together for my good because I love Him, but I know this is an area that I still need to grow. Great post.

Becoming Me said...

This story really got to me...beautiful...I'm at loss for words except to say that when we just revel in HIS sovereignty everything becomes clearer