Posted by: pmarkrobb | May 16, 2016

trust issue

How much and how completely do I trust God?  These were questions that unexpectedly arose as I prepared myself for the day last Friday morning.  To fully understand the context, we need to back up a few days to Wednesday of last week.  I was navigating my week with a deep, unspoken anxiety.  I was experiencing some physical pain which truly scared me, but which I couldn’t bring myself to share with anyone.  I suppose I was “praying” that it was nothing, so why cry wolf.

Mid-morning Wednesday, I walked down the hall at work, grabbed a cup of coffee and stopped at a friend’s office to chat for a few minutes on my way back.  I must have been wearing a bit of my anxiety on my face, because not long into the conversation my friend asked me if anything was up.  I paused for a moment (as a discussion went on in my head about whether I should finally just let it out), and then answered.  I offered a plain and honest admission of what I was experiencing and my friend listened intently.  Almost immediately, he began finishing my sentences.  It did not take long to figure out that he had experienced nearly identical symptoms and pain himself several years ago.  He shared his own fear and details from a visit to his doctor.  Almost instantly my anxiety began to lift, and not soon after I began laughing as the tension just broke loose.  As I left his office, I felt as though the 10 or so minutes I spent with my friend was a gift from God.  An answer to the prayer I should have been speaking for peace in the midst of my troubling circumstances.  My friend reassured me that with just another few days to a week of additional patience and perseverance, my pain was likely to subside then disappear.  There was proper caution of a few things to keep a keen eye on as signs of potential trouble, but all in all I could breathe again.

As I stood in the shower Friday morning I felt another twinge of pain.  The anxiety I’d been carrying earlier in the week instantly returned.  Maybe my circumstances (although appearing to be an identical match) were somehow different.  I stopped myself.  As the anxiety seemed to be rolling downhill and picking up momentum, I stopped myself.

In that moment I saw my circumstances as an illustration of my trust issues with God.  How much and how completely do I trust Him?  When He answers and then my circumstances tempt me with concern, how do I respond?  Was God’s gift to me on Wednesday really Him and was it really a gift or was that just me responding to a suggestion (which I craved) that I was going to be fine?  I had a genuine feeling walking out of my friend’s office that God had spoken words of peace to me, but how quickly did the pain of my now injure that peace?  The words “trust but verify” echoed in my head.  Maybe they had some merit in considering these questions of trust.  I felt as though I needed to consider them further before I judged how biblical that “wisdom” is.  It’s worldly wisdom which makes sense, but my heart was not settled on them being words of absolute truth.  Maybe they head in the direction of describing Thomas and his insistence on seeing and touching Jesus’ wounds before believing that He had risen.

Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.
John 20:25b (ESV)

Did Thomas want to trust, but couldn’t do so completely without proof?  Did I really want to trust, but didn’t do so completely (as evidenced by the return of strong anxiety after feeling the twinge of pain)?  I hear the beautiful grace and forgiveness of Jesus in His invitation to Thomas to touch and see.  I felt the beautiful grace and forgiveness of Jesus in the revealing of my imperfect trust.  I believe my heart was right to be unsettled with “trust but verify.”  I hear that in Jesus’ response to Thomas.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 (ESV)

Father, I believe.  Please help me in my unbelief.  Spirit, guide me as I orient my heart and life in the direction of unconditional trust.  I do not hear or feel condemnation in my battle to trust You.  I hear the invitation to touch and see.  I desire to trust without the need to, and battle to fully accept Your grace after the twinges of pain and doubt.    Thank you for the illustration in my anxiety of the past week.  Thank you for working all things for my good.

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Psalm 56:4 (ESV)

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Responses

  1. Yes, Father, we do believe. Please continue to help us overcome our unbelief. Might we trust You more as You trust Yourself. Continue to expose and reveal truth, trust, to us……with us……for us. Thank You 🙂 You are good!


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