““Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.” Psalm 143:8
6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
If you know me, and you know my writing, it doesn’t take long to figure out that I’m very transparent. See-through, one might say. What you see is what you get. I’m the biggest work in progress I’ve ever known. So much so for a long time I wondered how I could possibly have this little ministry and minister to people on the streets and by phone and online and wherever the Lord sends me and do all this writing that goes out around the world wherever He desires. After all, how could someone like me, who is still growing, and growing and has so much growing to do, and stumbles and falls along the way, needing to repent daily, chasing after God, and yet always needing more growth, how could I possibly have something to give someone else? Let alone lots of people? The answer, I found, is easy. Because what I give others is God. The Lord Jesus Christ. And encouragement. In devoting one’s life to Him. In learning to walk with God. In learning to follow Jesus. So I give you not little peaks, and tiny glimpses, into my own life. I open my heart, and life, wide, for others to see, because I’m a walking, living, breathing, testimony of what it’s like to follow Jesus. A forever journey of being conformed to Jesus on earth and then of spending forever with God in heaven. So when it comes to sharing with you how I hurt God – terribly – I can’t help but tell you the truth. For I believe when you see my stumbles, and falls, and struggles and trials, and then my victories in Jesus, and how God loves and forgives me and changes me and grows me in His image, and how to live according to God and His ways, well, I believe you will be encouraged to press on, to move ahead, to believe in Jesus as Lord, and to follow Him as Lord, and not to quit, not to give up, but to endure, to chase after Jesus as I have learned to do.
I hurt God – terribly. Here’s how. Today He told me to come spend time with Him – without my Bible. What a surprise! Why? He knows how much I love His Word, but He didn’t want me burying my nose in His Word. He wanted me to hear Him speak to me plain as day. Which He did. I sat outside on my New York City terrace with a few of my dogs and listened. Here’s what He showed me, and told me. In essence. He basically put together what He’d been telling me for days, and weeks. And what surely He had wanted me to see for years.
God has feelings, you know. If you don’t believe me, read the Bible. He’s real. He’s alive. He’s perfect and holy and righteous and He feels. And He can hurt. Badly. And even grieve. Yes. So what He told me is I don’t trust Him. Not the way I need to. I trust Him in bits and pieces. Some of the time. I pick and choose when to trust Him. Because I listen to the devil’s lies. And I look at my circumstances, including to the past. And instead of looking at Him and who He is and what His Word says and all the wonderful things I’ve experienced in my lifetime because of Him, most importantly looking at the cross and what Jesus did when He died on it and was raised from the dead, I have chosen not to fully place my trust in Him because of my personal experiences, challenges, feelings, because of what others have done or not done, etc.
And He showed me how horrible, how terrible, how hurtful it is to be a parent, in His case to be my heavenly Father, and to have me not trust Him, my beloved Father, and Savior, and Lord. He reminded me the two greatest things He desires are love and trust – and that though I love Him, the trust that should come from that love, and go hand in hand with that love, it’s not been there.
Oh, sure, none of us is perfect. But as I sat there listening to Him in tears, in my heart I knew it was time for repentance and for a fresh start. For though I don’t know that any of us humans can ever perfectly love and trust God, as only Jesus could do while on earth perfectly, I do believe sometimes we’re not as far along as we need to be. I have not been, and God in His amazing love for me, wanted to show me.
Know why I had tears and cried in my heart? And repented? Because it hurts terribly to terribly hurt someone you love, especially when you love that someone more than anything and anyone in the world.
This really isn’t about me, though, is it? If it were only about me, I wouldn’t be sharing it with you. I share it with you because I feel compelled to challenge you with this question.
If you look at your everyday life, is your trust in yourself, in others, in this world, or is your trust wholly in God, and if, as I have had to do, you need to ask God to forgive you because you see that you, too, have not been trusting Him the way He wants you to, will you seek His forgiveness, and receive it, and join me in committing to walk forward with a clean slate, a new beginning, and a resolve to allow Him to teach you to trust Him not in bits and pieces, but fully?
I believe trust is a choice, and we can choose where and in whom we place it.
For me, as tough as it was to know how terribly I’d hurt my Father and Lord, I am thankful God has given me the opportunity to grow in trusting Him. I am excited for Him to teach me how, and to learn to trust Him the way He deserves.
Friend, how about you?