In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:4-5
It is not easy to trust God for our next steps, or for tomorrow, or for our needs that we cannot meet on our own. But it is far easier to trust God for ourselves, I think, than it is to trust him for others.
Any parent will tell you this is true, as will anyone who has watched a friend suffer. In fact, any person who has witnessed a loved one struggle, die, fail, or otherwise find life difficult can attest to this.
Trusting God to do much for me, or to do even some, trusting him to do what I consider the barest of necessity for me is not always as simple as it should be. But trusting him for others…especially others that we love? It can feel insurmountable at times.
It isn’t that I don’t believe God is faithful. For some that might be the sticking point but for me that’s not the issue. I know he is faithful. For me it’s that I know God well enough to know that he is not in the business of giving us the easy road. He is in the business of giving us the best road. And best isn’t defined by what we enjoy or what we have planned or what we want. Best is defined by what will draw us to him. What will unmake the distortion sin has left on us and will remake us into the creation God meant us to be. That is what’s best, that is what we can trust God to offer.
So trusting God means that God will give us what is best, even if it hurts; even if it feels like death. Even if it makes us weep and beg for a different kind of mercy. Because the mercy of God is sometimes painful; it is a mercy that rips and tears asunder until it finds the clean and unmarred beneath—the raw. And it stings as only love unqualified and unchecked can sting.
So while I accept this for me, I sometimes want him to do it differently for those I love. I want him to remake them, give them newness of life and the power of his presence. I want him to break the sin away, to remove the hardness from their hearts and bring about the wholeness in them that only he can bring. But I want him to do it without the pains I’ve experienced. I want him to do it without the hurts I’ve seen others go through.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. John 14:1
It’s not that I don’t trust him. It’s that I know him well enough to know that he loves others as deeply as he loves me. And that means that he will love them patiently and relentlessly. That means he will do whatever is necessary to break down their walls, heal their wounds, and bring them closer to him.
So I am learning that it isn’t that I don’t trust God for the welfare of others, it’s more that I am afraid of what it might mean for them. I don’t love others as well as God does. I love them enough to want good things for them. He loves them enough to want the best. I love them enough to protect them—or try to protect them—from every hurt and pain that life can bring. He loves them enough to walk through these things with them and work to make those pains do what is best in the heart.
So I am learning to trust, even as I fear. I am learning to love more as the Father does. Love without compromise. Love without limits. Love without a preference for the easy or the quick. Love with a commitment for the best.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
***This wonderful photo provided by Geri-Jean Blanchard.***