More Lessons in Trust…
You’ve prayed, you’ve asked Him to lead you, and… you still don’t know which decision to make. So you pray some more… and some more… and eventually, even though you’re still not sure, you have to make a decision. So you do, even though you still can’t really tell which direction God is leading.
I think most of us have been there… just wishing we knew. Sometimes we feel maybe a tiny bit more peace with one direction than the other, so we hope that is God’s leading. But sometimes we just pick the one that our mind thinks makes the most sense. Sometimes we have a more emotional reason.
But then, a few months or a year or two or five later on, things get rough.
So often, the temptation is to doubt yourself and the decision you’ve made. I’ve heard people say (and been tempted myself to say), “I asked God to lead me, but it seems like I still made the wrong decision.” That’s a natural thing to think, isn’t it?
After all, when we asked God to lead us, we were thinking, “Lead us to the decision that is going to be the best.” Best decision, of course, meaning our own definition of what is best.
And we know full well that we can (and have) made wrong decisions many times.
But we asked God to lead us! And here we are, in a dark situation, confused and discouraged and overwhelmed.
It is here, in the darkness that sometimes follows a decision we agonized over, where we find our trust tested.
I’ve walked through quite a few of those dark areas in the last few years… valleys that were a direct result of decisions my husband and I prayed over. And when I started thinking maybe we had made the wrong decision, the Holy Spirit started pointing things out. He started prompting me to ask myself some very pointed questions.
– Is He really capable of leading me, even when I can’t hear, even when I doubt, and even when I’m feeling lost?
– In other words, is He capable of leading a deaf, blind, lame, and sometimes quite oblivious person who asks Him to lead them?
– If He is not capable of leading me even then, then why would I ask Him to do it?
So then, if He is capable of leading me, then I need to trust that He will! Or – what is often more difficult…
I need to trust that He did lead me. Even if I couldn’t see, hear, or feel that leading.
After all, Jesus said, “Ask, and you shall receive!”
But that is difficult because it forces us to face something else!
It goes like this:
– I asked God to lead me, and I meant it. ie: I wasn’t willfully running in the other direction.
– God is capable, so I must trust that He did lead me down this path.
– But this path has led to what seems like a bad situation.
Sooo…. did God do something bad?
Or is my understanding and viewpoint of this situation faulty?
That, for me, is the hard question… because sometimes my definition of “good” isn’t the same as God’s.
Consider Psalm 23. All of us know it. He is the Good Shepherd. That is, He is good, and He is our shepherd, leading us and caring for us. And yet, the psalm specifically says that He will in fact lead us through the valley of the shadow of death! But it promises that even while we are there, we will fear no evil because He is with us.
To me, trusting that He is capable of leading even deaf, blind, lame, and ignorant me when I ask Him to… that decision to trust that He was leading me no matter what the result is…. that is what carries me through those difficult times. Because He is good. So if He led me or my husband or my kids into a difficult situation, then He is with us now, He knows what He’s doing, and there is something totally worthwhile that is going to come of this!
When His leading resulted in a car accident that caused me to total my car on black ice and suffer PTSD, the result was that He used it to teach me how to trust Him in ways that have given me a peace I did not know existed before that car accident!
When His leading led my kids into seasons of life that tested and tried them and brought them pain, I continued to hold onto to this… we had asked Him to lead us all, He is capable, and He is good, and therefore this is part of a good plan. And indeed my son and daughter can now tell me the good that came of it and that the good was worth the turmoil and pain.
Holding onto Him in these dark times brings such amazing peace… as I discovered in the weeks after my car accident!
Are you in a similar situation? May I encourage you to simply reach out for Him, and trust Him? He is so very, very able to care for us!
Listen to this song if you’re struggling… and let go!