Sometimes I find trusting God… hard. It’s not so much reality that I have trouble trusting him with, though. Once I’m in a real situation, even if it’s terrible, I can usually focus and cling to God, trusting that he has a strong hold on me.
Honestly, it’s the unreality that gets me. The future. The what-ifs. The unknown. My imagination that taunts me with what could happen. The fleeting thoughts of disaster or loss or betrayal or…
I have a couple of friends who have expressed to me recently that they’re having trouble trusting God, too. One is a teenager, struggling to trust God with her future plans and dreams. She has so much she wants to pursue… can she trust God with the outcome if she lays all her dreams at his feet? The other is one of my dearest friends who has been on a mission trip in New Mexico for the past few weeks… watching the news with horror as the fires in Colorado inch toward the home she and her family built with their own hands.
And then there’s my own stuff. My 16-year-old just got his driver’s license last week. As I sent him pick up his sister at the ballet studio yesterday, I wondered, “How can I put two of my dearest treasures in the world alone together in flimsy vehicle on the highway?? What if…”
I’m sure you know what it’s like. I’m sure you have your own version of the “what ifs” that keep you up at night. I’ll share with you what I shared recently with my teenage friend over email. It’s an attempt to explain how the gospel helps us trust God…
I find it helpful when I’m having trouble trusting God to look backwards. What has God done for me in the past? How has he taken care of me? How has he led me to where I am today? How has he provided for me? How has he guided me through big decisions? How has he been there for me? And then I look farther back… what did he do for me when he became a baby and lived as a man who walked around on earth like I do? What did he do for me on the cross? What did he do for me when he rose from the grave? And then I ask myself, can he be trusted?
Of course he can.
Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the truth.
When we fear the future, we need to look to the past. The truth of the gospel reminds us of the unfathomable love God has for us. He loved us deeply at creation, he loved us deeply on the cross, he loves us deeply now… right now… and he will love us deeply in the future, not allowing anything to touch us that has not passed his inspection first.
His love is deep enough to see us through anything… dreams and plans… teenagers driving… fires burning. The gospel assures us that yes, without a doubt, we can trust God without reserve.