Ruthless Trust

I quit trusting God a long time ago.

I didn’t do it intentionally, but distrust seemed to come in swiftly and pull me further and further under like quicksand.

I’d have these “end of my rope moments” where I would explode to God, telling him that if he didn’t come through or at least talk to me a little, I swore I was done. I’d finish my rant, hear nothing, sit in the silence, and feel a little less heavy but mostly defeated. Disappointment started setting in because “Oh my God no matter what I do, I can’t get His attention” and anger would set in because it seemed as if He knew I wasn’t going anywhere, but chose to remain silent anyway.

Where was the God who loved me furiously and would have bankrupted Heaven all over again just to walk through life with me? Not here. Sitting on his hands, helping other people, something – but not here in this quicksand season of silence, disappointment, and moments filled with me whispering “This isn’t what I asked for. This isn’t what you promised.”

It seemed as if I was tricked into believing that the Lord would never leave, only to be deserted the moment I turned my back. That’s what happens when you’re in the middle of a story, but you think it’s the end.

It’s taken me so long to even begin believing that what I see with my eyes and perceive with my heart is not necessarily reality.

It’s like the climax of the movie when everything goes wrong – the two main characters (who up to this point have been falling hopelessly in love) have a falling out. Somehow the guy appears to be a total idiot and manages to lose the girl, his job, and whatever else he had going for him up to this point.
*insert rainy weather and Nora Jones music*
The girl is heart broken while all of us audience members are screaming IT’S JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING, HE’S ACTUALLY STILL WONDERFUL CAN’T YOU SEE!?

Middle of the story.

What I see isn’t always reality.
Be courageous. Keep watching. Keep reading.

I’d like to be a broken record and say that choosing to have hope and to believe in the goodness of God is the bravest thing you’ll ever do.
Distrust will blind you and deafen your ears to goodness. Trust will bring hope and clarity back like fresh air.
He isn’t trying to trick you. His motives are still good.

For me, hoping is a lot like jumping from stone to stone in one of those pretty landscaped gardens (only much more epic). Sometimes you jump from one to the other and stick the landing, feeling like a gold-metal-winning gymnast with all the support in the world. Other times the stones are further away than you anticipated, or covered in gravel that you slide and fall on top of.

Hope is being brave enough to trust that your bloody knees will be healed in time. Hope is getting back up and jumping again, knowing that you still have all the support in the world and you haven’t been left alone.

Nothing that happens in the middle of the story is beyond repair, healing, and redemption. Maybe your middle seems to be lasting a lot longer than the rest of the movie, but I promise in hindsight it will seem so small. The Lord isn’t an Indian giver – promising happy endings, showing you how wonderful things can be, and then ripping away as soon as you start to believe him. He’s faithful. He’ll bring what he promised.

Here’s another thing – I used to think there was some secret, spiritual way to ‘put your trust in God and not in your circumstances’.
I had a sweet friend gently say this week “Han, you can’t protect yourself from disappointment, only the Lord can do that.”
For me, it hasn’t been ‘trusting God, not circumstances,’ it’s been looking at gifts right in front of my eyes and saying “Look, I really don’t want to enjoy this if you’re just going to take it away. Instead I’ll hold it arms length away and try not to get too excited.”

I think that there will always be open doors that we will squeal about and swear that our dreams are coming true.
Sometimes they’ll slam in our faces and we won’t understand – but one day they won’t, and we’ll dance through them in awe of what He’s done.