I remember the day I realized something about myself that I wasn’t proud of. I fully trusted God with our finances, but I didn’t trust Him with my health. I felt sad at the thought of it. We’d struggled in our finances, and we experienced God’s faithful help to move us to a better place. But up to this point, I couldn’t say the same about my health journey.
God deserves my trust for every aspect of my life, but truth be told, I didn’t trust Him to heal me. I’d spent years crying out to God, begging Him to intervene, only to hear crickets in return. Okay, that’s an overstatement. He wasn’t always silent. But He was often silent. Occasionally, He’d break through with a whisper or an impression about what my next steps should be. Then He’d go dark again.
Meanwhile, in other areas of my life, I’d see Him working, sense His presence, and hear His whisper consistently.
Why is it that God sometimes seems hesitant to move in the areas of our lives where we need Him most?
Yet He’s always moving, constantly intervening, always teaching us something, even if we don’t love His ways.
One morning, while lamenting over my situation, I rehearsed the length of my battle and the frustration around my circumstances.
Trust Me. I hear His gentle whisper.
I thought to myself, trust You? I’ve tried to trust You and encountered one heartbreak after another. I want to trust You! I love You with my whole life. But honestly, I don’t trust You with my health. I hate that that’s true, but it is. I’m sorry, Lord.
Try Me. He whispered again.
I knew I’d heard from Him. And I knew my self-striving, self-protective efforts were getting me nowhere. The Lord led me to a passage that maybe you’ve heard me talk about lately. This passage won’t let me go. Let’s dig in.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
The word trust in this passage means to make safe, feel secure, have confidence, and be reliable. We are blessed beyond measure when we dare to trust God—not for specific outcomes, but—to be who He says He is: Good, kind, faithful, and true to His Word. He’s working all things together for our good and His glory (see Romans 8:28).
Notice in this verse it speaks of flourishing, regardless of what’s happening around you. You may find yourself in a drought or a heat wave, but when you’re rooted in Christ, His life-giving power nourishes and flourishes you.
I sat with that passage for a long time before I felt prompted to peek at the verse leading up to this passage (notice that verse 7 starts with the word “but”). Let’s look a little deeper.
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.”
Jeremiah 17:5-6 (NKJV)
The New King James Version portrays this verse most accurately. When we refuse to trust God and thus, put our hope in man-made solutions, we stunt our own growth. We plant ourselves in a dry desert when we could be camped by streams of living water. And don’t miss this vital part of the verse: we’ll not see goodness when it comes.
Trusting in any source other than God Himself dims our spiritual vision, diminishes our spiritual hearing, and lowers our capacity to discern the good things God is doing in our midst.
Too often, when people break our trust, we project that hurt and a more profound distrust upon God. So, how do we sort through our very real wounds in a way that helps us trust God with more of our lives, not less?
Recently on Susie Larson Live, I spoke with life coach, counselor, and spiritual director, Pamela Nelson. She helped us understand the different aspects of trust. First, she defined trust by quoting Charles Feltman: “Trust is making what is valuable to me vulnerable to you.”
Pamela said (my paraphrase):
“In a world where everything is in question, people are having a hard time with trust. Trusting others, trusting themselves, trusting institutions, and trusting God. We must always go to scripture for a biblical perspective on trust. Let’s see what God says about who He is and who you are. And move forward from there.”
We’re all imperfect human beings. Hurt people, hurt people. But as my friend Melissa always adds, healed people, heal people! We must not allow life’s hurts to keep us from trusting God to redeem our stories. God wants us to trust Him to work wonders in and through us!
If you’ve experienced repeated disappointments, and God has seemed silent up to this point, I challenge you to lean in and tell Him how you feel. Turn to Him again and see if He won’t break through and strengthen you for the road ahead. Even when He seems silent, He’s faithful. Even when He seems absent, He’s present. He’ll never look away or forget about you. Right here, right now, He’s up to something good.
Even in difficult times, we thrive when we trust in the One who made us, loves us, and cares deeply about us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NLT)