Learning to Trust Series, #4
When adversity strikes, it affects our relationship with God. Some will turn away from him in bitterness, while others turn toward him in repentance, seeking help. Or we may do both at different times.
In my June 28 blog, I mentioned a time when Jesus comforted me with a song during a period of heartache. He gave excellent advice and encouragement to help me through that valley. Yet, a year or so later, I felt angry with God because he wasn’t granting my requests. I didn’t understand why he would not want to grant what I asked, since it seemed so right.
Now, even after thirty-six years, I feel regret and shame that I didn’t remain open to what Jesus wanted to give. I wish I had trusted him better.
Anger reveals lack of trust. I assumed God’s negative answer to my request meant he didn’t love me. Therefore I made some stupid choices and got my life into a mess. Since I didn’t trust God completely, that lack of trust put a barrier between him and me so I couldn’t receive what was best.
My anger also showed pride, as if I thought I knew better than God what was best for my life. Since then, I’ve become convinced that God is all-wise, holy and righteous. He knows what he is doing. He also loves me much more than I realized back then.
Although God wants what is best for us, he won’t force us to accept his will.
My journey toward intimacy with God took a detour when I allowed Satan to convince me God didn’t really love me and that I should ‘take matters into my own hands.’ I don’t know how life would have been different if I had trusted God to take care of the situation, but I know I suffered for many years because of my own wrong choices.
This Prayer of Confusion expresses my feelings at that time.
Will somebody tell me how to live? What is the secret? How do I give?
How do I yield my heart?
Will somebody tell me who I am? Which is the truth and which but a sham?
How did deception start?
What are the answers … I need them now to questions I can’t figure out somehow.
Am I wise or am I a fool? Am I loving or am I cruel?
How do I listen and who will speak? I feel confused and amazingly weak.
LORD, take control of my inner soul. Where I am lacking, please make me whole.
Search me and make me true.
For you are the One who gave me life! Tell me the secret, thus end my strife.
Teach me to live for You!
—Judith Vander Wege
When I finally did as the last verse suggests, asking the Lord to take control of me, in other words showing that I trusted him and repenting from going my own way, then he began restoration in my life.
God worked through the book of Isaiah to help me learn to trust him better. He taught me that he really does love me, wooing me through the Psalms. When I learned to trust God completely, my circumstances and health began to improve.