Here’s a portion of an email that I received from a woman about my “Trust Fall” message this past weekend:
“For me, I have a hard time trusting God with uncertainty. I like to know when, where, and how all things are going to happen. Over the past 6 months I have had everything that I had thought was for certain turned upside down.”
Can you relate to her story?
After this weekend’s message, I met a woman who told me about her benign brain tumor. It was discovered while the doctors were running tests after a simple dental surgery gone wrong.
“I’m so thankful that this tumor is benign. But, this tumor now serves as my reminder that I have to trust God, because I don’t know the future. I just have to trust Him.”
It’s interesting that this woman considers her brain tumor a gift that helps her to remember to trust God. Sometimes, I think that we all might benefit from something that makes it necessary for us to depend on God daily rather than think that we’ve got it all under control. Because we don’t. There’s so much of life that is outside of our control.
Here’s a tidbit that I didn’t have time to share this weekend…
It’s one of the writings that speaks into my heart so deeply because as a reforming control-freak, I struggle to navigate the uncertainties of life. I like to prepare for bad times – sounds silly, but I do. In fact, I have a “tornado box” in my basement filled with food, blankets, tools and water. Every few year, I update the box. You should know that I am big believer in life insurance and we own a 20′ fire ladder that we’ve (thankfully) never used. I like to prepare for uncertain times. (Did I mention I’m a reforming control-freak?)
Yet, we can’t prepare for everything, can we? Bad things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people, too.
Let me introduce you to a guy named Habbakuk. (Say it like this: “Ha-bac-kuk”…good job!)
Habbakuk was one of God’s prophets living in ancient times and his homeland was going to be invaded. Things were going to be bad. In his writings, Habbakuk talks about an enemy that would come in and hold his countrymen captive. This enemy would kill their crops and animals and destroy the fruit-bearing trees in their land. Like a storm in the distance, Habbakuk saw devastation was coming and he couldn’t stop it. What was he going to do? Here is his decision written in Habbakuk 3:17-19:
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
Here’s what one author said about this passage of scripture: “Habbakuk found peace in knowing that the presence of God is the bounty found in scarcity. God’s presence makes all the difference. He therefore had resolved to be joyful, not superficially with his eyes closed to the problems and injustices, but by looking difficult circumstances and hard truth in the face and then accepting that in it all God would fulfill His good purposes.”*
Here’s a tough question: Are you able to say “…yet, I will rejoice in the Lord” even though you face uncertain times today?
Yes, those words are difficult to say when there is not end in sight to your problems or your suffering. Those words are tough when we see your loved ones around you suffering.
I wanted to share Habakkuk’s words with those of you who are in that “free-fall” space that I talked about this weekend – that place where you have no control, yet there is no outcome. I’ve heard from those of you who’ve suffered from lifelong illnesses, children who’ve been on drugs for years as well as wives or husbands who’ve prayed and prayed for their spouses to come to faith in Christ. I can’t imagine how difficult life is for you, but I know that God’s promises are true for you, too. God cannot lie and He won’t go back on His promise to help.
My friends, we’ve got to remember that God’s goodness, love and power can help us endure through any circumstance! Don’t underestimate God’s ability to help once you give over control of the uncontrollable and trust Him instead. Here’s a great way to sum up today’s post with some great wisdom:
“As you walk through the valley of the unknown, you will find the footprints of Jesus both in front of and beside you.” Charles Stanley
One more thing… If you enjoyed the “Trust Fall” illustrations, here’s another great video about trusting Christ from the Skit Guys. Let me know what you think about this and today’s blog post. Feel free to share your story in the comments or on my Facebook page!