Trust vs. my tongue: the eternal battle inside of me

More lessons in trust

I don’t remember exactly the first time He stopped me. I know He tried to stop me years and years ago, but I thought I knew better.

But I think it was a year ago or so that the Holy Spirit got more insistent.

I was talking to someone… maybe Him… about some minor situation that I don’t remember the details of. I was thinking through the possibilities of what might happen… something like this: “I’m hoping it gets here in time, but I’m afraid it won’t, and then…”

Why are you afraid? He asked me.

“I’m not,” I replied. “It’s just a phrase. It won’t even matter that much if it doesn’t come, and I trust You if it doesn’t. I’m just thinking through what might happen. I’m not really afraid.”

Then why do you so often say that you are?

That stopped me, but only for a moment. “It’s just a phrase,” I insisted.

But He was even more insistent. A few days later, I was talking about something else and the preparations I’d had no chance to make. “Well, I did the best I could,” I said, “but I’m worried that…”

Again He interrupted. Why won’t You trust Me?

“I do trust You,” I again insisted.  “It’s just a phrase.”

If you aren’t worrying, then why do you say you are?

As the weeks went by, we had many variations of the same conversation. He never gave up – quiet, calm, patient, but very, very insistent. I couldn’t even think the words “I’m afraid” or “I’m worried” without Him stopping me over and over again with a simple, Do you trust Me?

I found myself completely re-examining my thought processes. Those phrases were such a part of my vocabulary and expressions that I often found myself unable to even find alternate words to express what I thought I meant… which then made me start to realize that He was right. (Of course.) If I wasn’t worrying then I would have easily been able to find other words to use. If I wasn’t afraid, then other words wouldn’t be so hard to find.  “The mouth speaks from what fills the heart” is what Jesus said.  Was it severe worry and fear? No… but fear and worry is still what it was!

And thus, as time went by, He taught me how to turn over even all those little things to Him. He taught me to trust Him when my performance at work wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be. I learned to trust Him with things like when the mail would arrive and when I would have time to make phone calls about hospital bills. He took the trust that He has been teaching me for years in the big things down to a much more detailed level.

And my peace increased.

It is positively amazing how I can now even trust Him with my own performance, actions, and abilities! Where I used to berate myself, even after putting forth whatever effort I had time and energy to do, I can now trust Him. Because let’s face it… sometimes we’re worn out physically, emotionally, and mentally, and we know that our best that day was not our best on other days. And sometimes we run out of time. And sometimes we run out of patience and stamina. But His grace covers those as well… thus if my heart was right, then I can trust Him with the fact that that’s all I had that day! (And if my heart wasn’t right, then I can make it right and trust that He will still work and move as He knows is best.)

The ability to trust in this way has been transformational in my life! If you struggle with the same things, may I encourage you to allow Him to work and set you free as well?

Next Post in the Lessons in Trust series: Trusting His leading is sometimes like walking blind and deaf

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