Trust not Test
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.
Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you’ and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Sitting here now when so much of the drama of my life has passed, I know I have been so blessed throughout. I can honestly say there has been little that has been awful. Yes, certainly times that seemed a bit stressful. (Haha, thus the benefit of time passing, and memory fading!) There was a period when my fears controlled much of my behavior and actions. That fear could turn to angst, anger and mild depression, and sometimes a complete meltdown and crying jag….(would this time ever end?)
So often, and this was certainly true for me going through this period, I thought it would never end. The stress seemed dreadful and sometimes felt overwhelming and continuous at the time. Now, it’s easy to see how narrow my eyesight was. Bottom line is I allowed lies, threats, stories, intimidation, and my love and fear for others to be used and to control my behavior. Now I can certainly recognize there was little I was doing in a calm and sensible manner.
Stress, fear, anxiety, and therefore impatience and suspicion were frequent visitors, well actually probably took up residence, and not just visiting. That was the worst period of my life, and as I now look back, I was blessed to have a bunch of persons who loved me, and encouraged me and helped me get through it. And as life does, other circumstances come in and the story line changes. Thankfully my story line changed and became a better one.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It enables one to see clearly instead of that narrow focus of time. It can kind of be like looking at portions of a patchwork quilt; different parts of the quilt may show different scenes, but as you stand away, you are able to see the kaleidoscope of scenes. I can see many persons in my life who helped, loved, directed, sheltered, and encouraged, and even with the few areas of dark clouds, there were light people (directed by God) to assist my stubborn independence, and to keep me safe.
It’s almost too bad we couldn’t get glimpses of our quilt as we are going through the time. A flash so we could envision a change to this time period. But by seeing the nearly finished quilt, then we are not trusting and committing to God. And that is what He wants. He wants us to trust Him, to be confident in His direction and commands, to turn all over to Him.
But no, I, at least held tightly to being in control, making decisions, steering my life and choices, and maintaining anxiety and stress. Now it seems as though my ‘controlling’ life, served only to feed the beasts of angst and fear. Always, I looked for danger (which was more imagined than actual) and fretted and worried.
It was during this time, I became closer to God. That does not mean I trusted, but I tested that relationship. I had “tentatively” accepted Jesus after hearing Judges 6:10-40, which is about Gideon being told to lead the Israelites to defeat the Midianites. (Gideon did just as I have done often, “Who? Me? Are you looking at me?”)
Why did he tightly hold on to low self-esteem and doubt, when God said he could do this? Why when God told him, he was the one chosen for the task? Probably for the same reasons I did and many others throughout time do. For whatever reasons, we cling to those doubts we have heard from others, we have told ourselves, or we have witnessed others with admirable abilities and then doubt our own. Anyway, Gideon doubted, yet God was persistent.
But my favorite verses, the ones that changed my life, were verses Judges 6:36-40. “Please, God, I am not sure I’ve got this straight. If this is what You are REALLY saying, then allow this to happen….” For two nights Gideon asked God to show him if he truly understood by getting his fleece wet, or having it be dry. I termed it “my fleeces,” and all my friends and family knew I used them whenever I was unsure as to what God was charging me to do.
But I tested and teased rather than allowing myself full and lasting, deep trust. “You know it’s raining, please can I get a parking space close to the door?” And one would open. But that is not believing God is going to help you with the big stuff, that is not stepping forward clothed in your armor for Him. That’s almost playing games, and getting what you asked for, then chuckling and giving thanks, but it’s not deeply sincere. And that’s where I needed to be.
Then I heard a couple sermons close together about testing God. And I realized that constantly using these fleeces was not allowing me to move forward, to get more involved and invested with God. I was still testing God and not fully being with Him, and looking to be of service in His kingdom. It was still all about me. I was still controlling my destiny. I was not bringing the big stuff to God. I had not fully acquiesced my life and the life of my son to Him.
The two sermons opened my heart for more, although still with trepidation. ‘He might ask more of me than what is here. He might not know how fallible and messed up I am? So still, although I was bolder, I wanted to hang on to something secure.’
But I knew He wanted more. So I turned over the rest, the amount I had held back. And what a wonderful journey it has been since.
He has designed my quilt in lovely patterns and through the occasional periods of gray (it was never as dark as my mind and Satan’s lies told me it was) it is easy to see He was always there.
Thank You for softly urging me to come, come all the way, let go of whatever I was holding back from You. I am so thankful for all You have shown and done for me and ‘mybellaviews.’