If you asked this question of most Christians, few would hesitate in giving their answer. "I trust in God, of course!" We hear messages about this, we read about this in the Word of God and we even will sing songs about trusting God in all things. Yep, a Christian is supposed to trust God and so we do... or uh... do we?
It is said that talk is cheap and it is. It is one thing to talk about trusting God to care for your needs when you have a good job, all the bills are paid and you are even tucking away money for a rainy day. You say you are trusting in God and you might be but on the other hand, perhaps in reality you are trusting in yourself. This displaced trust is generally very subtle but it is still misplaced.
The only way to tell if you are truly trusting in God is to be stripped of your safety nets. That isn't pretty and it usually involves some pain and leaves you feeling a bit raw initially.
Over the past five years, God has been systematically stripping away my safety nets. At times I have even felt a teeny bit like Job. Not a lot of course but just a bit.
First, my health was stripped away. The body that had served me well was suddenly fighting for survival on an ongoing basis. I have survived but it was not without some permanent scars both physically and mentally. Then it was the loss of my career. With that came some unbelievable financial challenges which required a substantial shortfall of more than $1,000.00 a month to be filled in every month, not to mention the two year long battle which involved long-term disability benefits both private and public.
Then when we felt like we were just about to crawl out of "the pit", my husband lost his job of more than 27 years and we found ourselves reeling under the impact once again. Where was God in all of this? Had we gotten something messed up or did He just not care about us anymore?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Is all your talk about faith genuine or were you just parroting pretty words? You can be certain that our words will be put to the test eventually. Will we past the test?
In my mind, I have no other choice, no other option. Either I trust God or I don't. Either I believe what His Word says or I don't so... I turned to God and His Word.
As I look back upon my life, I cannot help but notice that God has always been present and He has always been faithful. He has never abandoned me and He has always lovingly cared for me.
I open up the "box of photographs" tucked away in the corner of my mind and take them out one by one. They tell a story. They tell a story of God's redeeming power and His love. I reflect on the times I have cried in God's arms and He comforted me. I reflect upon the times He has healed me and healed other family members. I recall the time some money mysteriously showed up in my bank account and after several heated discussions with bank officials they demanded that I must have forgotten I deposited it and that the money was mine. Enjoy. Hmm... I would have remembered making that deposit.
I remembered the times when food has been multiplied, vehicles ran although the tank should have been empty about 200 miles ago, unexpected jobs came up and delinquent customers suddenly remembered that they really should pay for services rendered and did so... at just the right moment.
I add some new photographs to the box which have been taken since my husband lost his job two weeks ago. These are pictures of dear friends who have come to our aid with financial gifts, having the money to pay for COBRA in January because someone decided to pay us for services now rather than six months or a year later and receiving some unexpected back pay.
There are photographs of messages of support and prayers from friends and associates. There are pictures of people who previously said "no" suddenly saying "yes".
If I were walking alone, the path I am treading on would be dark and frightening but I am not alone... and I never will be. He is carrying me.