This past spring, I unexpectedly had to find another place to live in the space of about two months. It was a stressful time, and there were many weeks where I began to think: “Can God really be trusted in this?” During those months, I pursued new living situations through the Internet, my church community, and girlfriends, but everything fell through over and over. I knew I had to find a place by early June, but as the spring came to an end, and I still had no place to go, I began to feel a rising sense of anxiety in my heart, like a balloon that was about to burst. I knew I wasn’t going to be homeless, but I sure was feeling lost and abandoned.
In the end, God came through in a way I was not expecting! When I heard the good news through a phone call, I was in Costco, and was so relieved I started crying like a baby in the frozen meat section. I had just received a most unexpected gift of a little home – and it was going to be with girlfriends! People stared and wondered what was wrong with the girl blubbering in her foggy glasses and red faced sniffles. I didn’t care a hoot. In fact, I felt like I was experiencing the Gospel all over again in my heart! I sniffled, blubbered, and wiped my foggy glasses over and over through the rest of my grocery shopping that day . . . but it was happy tears spent in praise of a good God.
As difficult as those months were, God used that time to teach me a few things I had forgotten.
He’s Already In Your Future
As Christians, we know in our heads that we are supposed to trust God. We say with our words that we trust Him, and we memorize verses about trusting God, but when an unexpected trial hits your front door, actually trusting Him in your heart is a whole different animal. When you have done all the right things to resolve the issue, and you pray, get into the Word, seek wisdom, and yet God still waits to answer, you are left with the bare naked choice to either trust Him or give in to worry.
The unknown is scary for a lot of people. We like to feel in control. But God often chooses to put us exactly in those places of being out of control in order to teach our hearts that He is sovereign and loving and trustworthy– even when we begin to doubt Him.
I love how Jesus tells us in Luke 12:22-26 that we cannot even add ONE hour to our lives by worrying. Truly, what are you going to change with getting anxious about the issue? Nada, baby. I once heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author of Lies Women Believe, say, “If you knew what God knows, you would want His will too, no matter the outcome.” Isn’t that true, though? Plus, God will give you grace for what you need in the moment that you need it (Luke 12:12).
Where is Your Head?
I had several sleepless nights during the months I waited on God. Have you ever been there? Often we are entertaining fears about the worst case scenario. “I’m going to be homeless!” “I feel like God doesn’t care!” While these thoughts may sound understandable, they are often just a product of either:
a) an overactive imagination b) tired bodies
c) a tendency to focus on our selves d) any combination of those things.
Practically, it’s good to prepare, but God never intended for us to dwell on fears like they were the Truth. Some of you may be facing circumstances that are much more stressful than finding another place to live.Here is a thought to chew on amidst such seasons: If God is actually intimately involved in ALL things (Romans 11:33-36), then to resist the uncomfortable circumstance is to resist the hand of God.
Instead of attempting to understand or figure out the future and your situation, turn your thoughts onto the reassuring fact that God has a purpose in this pain or discomfort. When you get to the other side of this trial, whether it’s on Earth or in heaven, you are going to see how you experienced God’s heart in a way that would NOT have been possible if you had not gone through the trial. God’s ways can be unsearchable, inscrutable, and we won’t always understand what He is doing with our limited brains.
But that doesn’t mean He has stopped caring about you and your little life, my dear friend (Psalm 139; Psalm 8:4; I Peter 5:7). Don’t allow any fear to steal your deep seated joy of an eternal hope. This too shall pass! You are experiencing the heart of God amidst trials in a way that you never would have known otherwise. My friend, you are getting heart knowledge of God’s love for you – not just head knowledge! It is a bittersweet process while we are on Earth, yet it is knowledge with an exponential power that will shine brightly into all of eternity. God is going to meet you right where you are if you ask Him – right now even as you read this.
A Prayer: Father God, what if I just stopped worrying for the rest of the day? Would the world come to an end? No. Please grant me the grace to glorify You with a peaceful and joyful heart, despite my uncomfortable circumstances.