Can I be real with you? I mean, the type of honesty you usually get over cups of java, smooth jazz floating overhead. You know what it’s like. You’re sitting there in a cafe, locking eyes with that friend you’ve known for years. Pretend I’m that friend.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to trust God.
I always find myself latching on to verses about trust, writing them on note cards and putting them right in front of me. I don’t like admitting that this is true because–let’s just put it out there–no one likes admitting they aren’t perfect. Enter the part where I admit I’m prideful to…
But, the other day, I was reading in Isaiah for a study I’m a part of and I got “jacked in the face” as my former pastor Luis would say.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore He exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 30:18 (my emphasis)
And if that wasn’t enough, then I came to this verse:
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Stunned. Speechless. Staring.
Did I read that right? This type of direction sounds amazing. Flat out fantastic! Where can I sign up for that? Um, yes, I’d like the Lord’s voice to speak behind me, telling me where to go next.
Now, to be fair (and contextual) God is talking to a portion of the Israelite nation who wanted to return to the “relative security” of their slavery in Egypt. Yeah, ’cause being a slave was sooo great. But, more than that, these scriptures show the character of God. It wasn’t a “one-time, God is gracious” moment. It’s the heart of God.
He is JUST and He is GRACIOUS.
Taking all of this into account, I started to journal my thoughts:
“But they (the “rebellious children” Israelites) didn’t get it. Their faith was in the seen but that was because they forgot how amazing their God was. They forgot how trustworthy and gracious He is. How He longs (NASB translation of wait in v18) to bring them good things–like the Good Father He is.”
Then I started to ask questions of myself:
“Am I trusting in Your goodness, Lord? Am I longing for You? Am I craving Your justice and Your compassion? Am I doubting Your goodness in light of my current circumstances? Do I take You at Your word? When You say You love me, do I believe You?”
Finally, I sat back for a moment and thought. Questions like that hit hard. They target my weakest link–my trust in God. I know He’s trustworthy, but I don’t always act like it. I let fear override my deeply-rooted knowledge of Him and suddenly I’m trembling and crying out to Him asking: Will you really take care of me? Will you really guide and direct me? Can I really trust you?
The answer to those questions is a resounding YES.
I should believe it without thought our question, but I’m being real here–remember? I don’t always do that. I have to remind myself, read His word, confide in friends, and most importantly pray to Him.
I’ll leave you with my prayer taken directly from the pages of my journal (with a few errors corrected, ha! I find my brain goes faster than my pen at times). I hope it’s encouraging to you. Isn’t that the point of honest, friend-conversations?
“Lord, in my own life at this time, I want You more than anything else. Or maybe it’s–I want to want You more. I want to trust in Your perfect goodness and reach out my feeble hands to grasp Your strong ones. I want to risk my own happiness for Your surpassing goodness–which I KNOW will be for my own benefit.
Help me to trust You. To walk in Your way. To desire You above my safety and comfort. To put aside the things I think I want, in order to delve deeply into the things You have for me. And help me to listen to Your voice behind me, guiding me in the way I should go.”
Cover Photo Credit: Flicker by Linh Nguyen