“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
― Corrie Ten Boom
Sometimes, most of the time, I have to relearn the same lessons over and over again. I am extremely stubborn and hard-headed, and simply just don’t “get it” right away. This is partly due to ignorance, but mostly due to a lack of trust in God. This, in turn, appears to be the by-product of my inability to grasp exactly how much God loves me.
I have read many accounts of people who have directly experienced the complete awareness of God’s love for them. In each case, it was a life-altering experience. Where once they thought of themselves as worthless and useless, they suddenly found self-acceptance and purpose. Brennan Manning in the Ragamuffin Gospel writes, “My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” This awareness of His love not only changes the individual but changes his/her perception of reality. Where once the world seemed hostile, unmanageable and hopeless, their lives now appear guided and protected with a vision for the future.
Unfortunately, I have never experienced this love. I have heard and read about it, and I have yearned for it. However, except for one brief touch, I have never felt it. This makes it difficult to cope when challenges arise that threaten my daily existence. Instead of finding comfort in the knowledge that God cares and will do what is best because He loves me so much, I instead try to apply my own limited skills and experience to resolve them. I pray continually for God’s intervention, yet instead of relying on and trusting His will for my life, I demand that He do things my way. Without the full experience of His love, trusting Him is difficult at best and impossible at times. However, I am learning and growing in this area and realize that there are a few things I can do. Like, Henri Nouwen, I can make a daily decision to believe that God loves me, and then act on that decision.
Last night, as I lay worrying about a pressing problem, I kept thinking, “What am I going to do?” “I will never make it through this?” “I am so afraid.” It progressed from that negative self-talk to pleading prayers to God to fix things my way. I asked Him to answer my prayers with a specified response, to not just handle the problem but to do it my way. Somehow, in the middle of this mess, it occurred to me to pray for grace to accept things the way they are. At that moment, I began to act on the decision to believe God loves me, and in that moment I began to experience peace. I was able to think more clearly and to realize that it will be “okay.” That no matter what happens God is in control, He loves me and He will take care of me. I felt strengthened, revived and at peace.
I remembered then, my favorite Bible verse and it once again reassured me that He will see me through. Even if He does not give me the exact answers that I think are best, He will always do what is best. He promises, ” But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isa 40:31 KJV So, I will wait on Him to take care of things, and choose to believe that “It will be okay” because He loves me.
I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.
Dwight L. Moody