It’s amazing how difficult it is to believe the Word of God sometimes. Even after years of walking with the Lord and seeing His faithfulness proved again and again and again, I still find myself struggling to believe words I know to be true. Can anyone relate to me here?
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 Some of my favorite promises of Scripture are also the ones that I struggle to believe on a daily basis.
I know that ultimately God has a much higher and comprehensive view of my situation than I do and therefore knows what is best for me. This is why I am commanded to trust Him and not my own understanding of my situation. I also know if He was going to withhold anything from me, it would be the thing most precious to Him: His own beloved Son: Jesus. But He hasn’t done that; instead He gave Jesus up for my sake to be punished for my sin so that I might be justified and have eternal life. So what reason does God have to withhold anything else from me unless it is ultimately for my benefit? I know these things to be true.
I know this because I have seen these truths tested throughout the years of my life. I lost 3 babies before the end of the first trimester in pregnancy and yet found out that ultimately this was God’s grace to me. It allowed me to discover an easily treatable problem in my body that would allow me to have healthy babies and possibly save my life (read about this in my post Faith in Difficult Times). I married a man whose calling has brought me into a lifestyle of traveling, a lack of routine, and time at home alone that I never thought I wanted yet has proven to be one of the sweetest channels of intimacy with God (see post A Day in the Life). I have over and over again seen God prove His faithfulness to me through circumstances that seemed undesirable. So what reason do I have to distrust Him? None.
Yet here I find myself past my due date with our second baby, Sophia, wondering why God hasn’t brought her here yet in the time and manner that I wanted. It may seem very silly to be concerned about something so small, but this is what I have been wrestling with for these past few weeks. One of my brothers leaves the country this Sunday for 4 months, all of my family is only available this coming weekend to see Sophia so I would have someone to watch Lively and Jimmy is off on Sabbatical this month (read about this on his blog here). In my mind, everything was PERFECT for her to come last week! Yet here I am, still pregnant and waiting to go into labor, telling God that clearly He doesn’t know what He’s doing in delaying Sophia’s entrance into this world.
Again, this might seem like something small and menial, and maybe it is, but waiting for her to be born has created a daily battle in my mind to trust and believe God knows what is best for my family and me. I continually remind myself that He knows my situation: He knows that my brother leaves on Sunday, that my sister has to go back to college on Monday, that Jimmy’s precious time at home gets shorter with each day. Not only that, He knows things about my situation and future to which I am totally oblivious. So it should be easy to trust His timing, right? Unfortunately that has not been the case.
Sometimes it is easy to trust God. Other times it is a daily and continual battle of the mind where my arms grow tired from a constant use of the sword of His Word (Eph 6:17). But whether hard or easy, my call as a child of God is still the same: Choose to believe my Father’s words over my own feelings.
Part of this process has included a surrendering of my rights. Maybe it’s because I live in America, one of the most entitled societies in existence, but I often feel like I have a right to have things go my way. So when God’s plan doesn’t line up with mine, I feel justified in my anger and frustration. But according to the Bible, the only thing I am entitled to is an eternity separated from God in hell because of my sins (for the wages of sin is death… Romans 3:23). Everything other than this is purely a gift from God in my life. So any other “rights” I may feel entitled to I have no license to actually claim. This includes my right to Sophia being born within my timetable.
I recently finished a book called “Safer Than a Known Way” by Pamela Rosewell Moore. Her story centered around a continual surrendering of her rights which allowed God to work freely in her life in great ways, often in ways she never thought she’d want. But of course, in surrendering her will to choose what God would have, she found His way is always the most joyful and most satisfying. Her story ends with this quote: “Only the Lord sees the end of my story. It is not in my control. But I do know this: when I surrender to Him, I am safer than if I had chosen a known way.”
What an encouragement this book has been to me as I am in this season of waiting. I see a “known way”: what I want to happen. But the promise is that God’s way, even though it is unknown, is much better than what I can see. But it is the unknown that terrifies me, which is what keeps me from trusting God. I am unsure of what He will do if I trust Him, so instead I choose my own way. But I have no logical reason not to trust Him, because His ways have NEVER ONCE been anything less than the absolute best thing for me.
So today, I am in a battle to trust God and lean not on my own understanding as I await the birth of our sweet baby Sophia. I have no idea in what way or what time He will bring her into this world, but I must choose to believe that His ways and His timing are far better than I could even dream.
How are you struggling to believe God today? Are you afraid of the unknownness of His ways? Can you believe that His ways are safer than a known way? If you are up to the challenge, join me today in believing His Word and trusting that His ways are far better than our own.