Got Trust Issues?
by Virginia Forste
In his book, Is This Anything?, comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a bit to say about universal discontentment.
“All humans think the next place they go is going to be the better one.
You’re at work, you wanna get home: ‘Did they say what time we could leave?’ You’re at home: ‘I’ve been working all week; I’ve gotta get out.’
You’re out: ‘It’s late. I’ve got to get back.’
‘I’ve gotta get up. . . . I’ve gotta get to the airport. . . . Gotta get on the plane.’ Plane takes off: ‘When are we landing?’
You land: ‘When are they going to open the doors so that we can get out?’ Nobody wants to be anywhere. Nobody likes anything.”
We want to be anywhere but wherever we are at the moment. However, if we’re not the ones making the decisions, we do not embrace the other place. We panic. We hesitate. We come up with excuses about why we can’t do that thing or go to that place. We like having control over our independence. Coincidentally, God created us to give up control and become dependent on him. No wonder we struggle with decision-making!
I grew up in the state of New York, and having shoveled my fair share of snow, I moved south for graduate school and lived in Florida for fourteen years. One day my husband decided he wanted to move back to be closer to his family here. I stared at him. Ha, that’s a good one, I thought. Only he wasn’t joking. My apprehension was only made worse by my friends’ reaction that was closer to mourning than celebrating. To be fair, some Floridians think that Cincinnati is a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. “You know it snows there, right?” they would say with a “sorry-for-your-loss” tone.
Fear was shouting, too:
Will you find a church you like as much as this one?
Remember how long it took to make friends last time?
This time it might take even longer.
You’re starting from scratch.
You’re going to live in a tent in the middle of a cornfield! (I never considered where my kids were; it was just me among the corn stalks.)
The mic-drop moment occurred as my husband responded, “Think of all of the homes we have lived in. Do you think that’s where I would bring us?” You got me there. This was happening.
I had some trust issues. I had to trust that my husband would not, as I had feared, move me to a tent in a cornfield. I know that sounds ridiculous, but fear crowds out rational thinking. I eventually came around. After getting settled in Cincy, we began attending this church. I volunteered to write for the women’s ministry blog. Later, I was asked to join the writing ministry team—and now I get to write to real, live people like you, which enthralls me every time. I never would have done that without trusting my husband, and ultimately, the Lord—trusting there are things beyond what I know that could be better than where I was.
Gideon, the Mighty Warrior
If you missed yesterday’s teaching on a judge named Gideon whom God raised up to rescue his people, in the midst of truly impossible odds, you can check it out here. Gideon is one of my favorite Bible dudes. An angel of the Lord addresses him as “Mighty Warrior.” You know he was looking around thinking, Is The Rock behind me, because you really can’t be talking to me? But the angel was speaking to him. Then the Lord spoke directly to Gideon and told him the plan:
“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, “My own strength has saved me”(Judges 7:2, NIV).
Gideon felt unqualified for God’s plan and then things went downhill from there. The Lord gave Gideon several tests to use on his men to whittle down the number in his army. It would seem weird to us now if we divided a group of men at “Man Church” based on how they drank water from a stream, but it was God’s method. Twenty-two thousand men fled after the first round which was only Gideon shouting, “If you’re scared, you can leave.”
Eventually, Gideon’s army consisted of only 300 men who were supposed to fight 135,000 Midianite warriors. Those odds are a staggering 450-1! That looks bleak with worldly eyes. But that’s God’s way. With so few men in his army, anyone seeing this fight would know Gideon had a lot more help. They would know God had brought the victory.
The Right Question
The world wants you to look at all situations and see how you can get the most return on your investment. We are supposed to get ahead and do what makes sense. But God doesn’t always work that way. In Gideon’s case, God created less-than-desirable circumstances to make way for a fantastic result. He does that with us, too.
Circumstances will appear that do not make sense. Your extended family won’t understand why you’re making that job change although it offers less money. Your college friend won’t understand why you’re moving your family to an even smaller town. Remember, you don’t have to convince them. Your coworker won’t get why you’re starting a career change in your 50s.
The question we should ask is, “Does the outcome of saying yes to this opportunity line up with God’s character?” We don’t understand how God works, but we can be confident that his end game is love, grace, and for even more people to know him.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. Do we trust that he has our best in mind? Won’t we feel fulfilled if we are doing what he wants?
I challenge you to examine yourself today. In what area of your life could you take a risk for the Lord and trust him to guide you? Ask him where you can fit into what he is doing. Nothing is more exhilarating in this life than being a part of God’s plan!
Virginia Forste is a former elementary education teacher and stay-at-home mom who frequently blogs with other moms at textingthetruth.com.