Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO Fam member, Laura! If you want to know more, check out our online community of sisters here!
I want you to take a moment to think back to your childhood. As a kid, maybe at camp, or at some point in your teen years, did you ever do the trust-fall? The one where someone stands behind you and you’re told to let yourself fall back. If all goes as planned, you fall and the person behind you catches you in his or her arms.
I did this one year at camp, and it was quite scary! I had just met the kids who offered to catch me two days prior, so I didn’t know their track record. I had no assurance that they would actually catch me. It didn’t happen to me, but maybe some of you had someone prank you, and you ended up landing hard on your back on the ground. As a teen, this exercise may appear to be the most challenging expression of trust, however, there are bigger scenarios in life where trust is required. Those times will be difficult and downright scary!
I’m a 6 on the Enneagram test. (If y’all haven’t taken it yet or don’t know what I’m talking about, I highly recommend looking into it!) As a 6, I can be fiercely loyal, dedicated, and hard-working. However, I struggle with needing to feel safe and secure. I need to know that everything is all right.
Yet, that assurance can be difficult because it requires trust. And trust comes when another factor is added.
The biggest challenge in trusting someone or something is when the circumstances feel out of control. Dare I say, out of mine or your control.
For a long time, trust was a conditional concept for me because of this exact reason. When it came to my faith, I would be okay trusting God when there was evidence everything was or would be all right. When life was good and there was no chaos, I would praise God and trust Him. All was good until something happened that I felt was out of my control. Then I would become fearful. My solution was to bypass my trust in God and to try to find a way to control or fix my situation without Him.
I think God has a great sense of humor when it comes to our individual areas of weakness. He desires to strengthen us to look more like Him, and therefore, He will give us situations that test those muscles so we can grow! This may sound silly, but I’m truly thankful for those seasons of painful pruning, because I am being refined to know God more and become more like Him!
Let me explain further what that has looked like in my own life. Four years ago, I started dealing with some health issues, but after some testing, doctors said everything looked okay. I was in the clear. Nothing was significantly wrong. I would still have days sporadically where I didn’t feel my best, but it was bearable. Fast-forward to now, and over the past year, those issues have resurfaced with more magnitude, which has required more testing, appointments, and ruling out various illnesses. Through all of it, I had two choices– either I could freak out or I could trust God. I’ll be completely honest and say there have been times I’ve completely freaked out and let my mind run rampart with “what-ifs”. On other occasions, I’ve chosen to give my fears, worries, and feelings of control over to God and trust Him.
And you know which one always turns out better?
Yup, you guessed it.
You see, God is someone we can always trust to carry us through life’s mountains and valleys. He is not like a kid at camp who might prank you and let you fall to the ground. Instead, we know by reading in the Bible, the character of God is always for us, never against us. We can read of the many acts of faithfulness toward His people throughout numerous generations!
According to Webster’s dictionary, trust is placing confidence in or relying on something; the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Throughout the Bible, we have an assured reliance of who God is. We see His character through the ways He protects, heals, provides, and loves. We see what He is capable of doing: healing the sick, parting the sea, and forgiving sins. His strength is displayed in conquering enemies and death. We know all this to be true because all Scripture is God-breathed, and throughout history we have been able to confirm these events. For the added cherry on top, God continues to bless us and reveal Himself to us in our own lives—through friendships and protection and the gentle nudging of the Spirit.
A passage of Scripture that reminds me of my trust in God is Matthew 14:22 – 23. In this passage we’re told the disciples are in a boat. Jesus had sent them to cross a lake while He stayed to pray alone in the hills. It’s nighttime and the wind and waves begin to rock the boat back and forth with vigor. Just imagine this scenario for a moment. It’s dark out so they can’t see anything, and they are being tossed side to side. This situation is completely out of their control. Then, Jesus appears, walking on the water. Peter asks to come out to him. “Yes, come,” Jesus said. Despite the circumstances–the wind and waves–surrounding him, Peter trusts Jesus and starts walking on the water towards him. Woah! Can you imagine the amount of confidence in Christ that would have required? But after a while, Peter remembers his surroundings, and he starts to freak out. He loses his focus on Jesus, the one who can control the storm, and instead puts his focus back on the danger. The bible says he was terrified.
There is so much beauty in what happens next.
Despite Peter losing focus, Jesus immediatelyreaches out his hand and saves him. Jesus then proceeds to ask Peter why he doubted. Once they get back into the boat, the winds down die and everything is calm. Peaceful. In control. Because, truthfully, Jesus was watching over them the entire time, protecting them.
Even though the circumstances seemed to shout a different story, Jesus had complete authority over the winds and the waves.
After this interaction, everyone started worshiping Jesus, praising His name because they knew He truly is the Son of God.
It is amazing the grace and mercy Jesus extends towards us. He wants us to trust Him and so he shows us time and time again that we can.
I want to be able to trust God when everything is good and when everything is bad then works out good and, most importantly, when I’m in the midst of the storm, the pain, and the confusion. I want to continually praise Him no matter my outside circumstances because I have a confident trust in His character and faithfulness.
I pray you are encouraged to trust God more. I may not know your circumstances, but I can promise you, you have a heavenly Father who loves you dearly and goes to great measures to show you that you can trust Him in everything!
Laura Conaway, is a loved member of LO Fam and a college student who loves Jesus. She love spontaneous adventures that happen out of the most ordinary experiences. She also loves to play her violin and guitar. For her, nothing compares to the opportunity of investing in people’s lives and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord as they live out their purpose of glorifying Him.