What If I Can’t Trust God? (Part 1)

“The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away. May the Name of the Lord be praised.” 

-Job

God allows pain. God allows loss. God takes away.

God is good and he does good. He gives. He works everything for good to those who Love him and are called according to his purposes.

Even so, God allows pain. God allows loss. God takes away.

How does one reconcile these two seemingly opposite thoughts?

We all know that this is a fallen world. There is loss and there is pain. God allows these shadowy figures to intrude and claw at the lives of the lost and the found, the believer and the unbeliever. In fact, following our Lord may even open the door for more frequent visits from these unwelcome figures as we walk in opposition to the world and to the enemy of our Lord. And this is what troubles my mind from time to time. But this isn’t an article on the reasons for suffering. It’s not even an article meant to systematically prove the goodness of God. Perhaps those ideas can be discussed at a later point (as far as the creature can discuss things known only by the Creator!). For now, I just wanted to let you in on one of the biggest internal struggles I’ve walked through. I want you to see a little of who I am, how God is transforming me, and perhaps relate with me on the often slow and sometimes painful aspects of growth in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Good God, Bad God

This idea of “good god, bad god” had been playing in the back of my mind since I started having children. Odd. But something about that extreme gratitude that manifests from the blessing of raising children also brought about a manifestation of extreme fear and anxiety about losing this blessing. I began to feel that way about all the abundance God had given me in my life. And until recently, I had reacted to, and acted in, the manifestation of fear instead of gratitude.

Over these past few weeks, God, who knows where I am emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically, has brought circumstances into my life that have caused me to finally reconcile these two conflicting ideas that have been bubbling under the surface of my heart.

A dear friend lost a much anticipated and loved baby through miscarriage.

Things began to fall apart at a job where I was used to being appreciated and successful.

I could sense the Lord holding my husband and I back for yet another year from continuing on with the missionary training and work to which we feel our family has been called.

These things, coupled with the fatigue that takes hold from raising three small children, working, seeing little to no success in my endeavors to earn a side income, and simply missing my husband as we worked opposite schedules, led me to a point of unignorable discord in my life. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t believe it!

Release

One night, before a Bible study I was attending, I said to my husband,

“I don’t trust God.”

And he said, “Wow. I did not expect you to feel this way. But I’m so glad you told me.”

It was as if something released. I had my sloppy slobber cry. I went through the phases of wanting to throw up, curl up and sleep everything away, and cry some more. We also had people we love praying for us (even though they didn’t know exactly why). Finally, I talked with my Father in heaven. And over the course of a week, God gently and lovingly taught me, yet again, who he really is and who I am as his child. I know it sounds dramatic, but to be in such a place and in such unrest leaves one (or at the very least, me!) in much darkness.

So, daily, he had me focus on the sentence in his Word that says,

You are good and do good. Teach me your statutes. 

My friend faced further physical complications from her miscarriage.

She buried her son.

She faces the awkwardness and emotional rehashing that comes from meeting people out in public who don’t already know of her loss or her pain.

She still declares the goodness of God.

You are good and do good. Teach me your statutes.

My husband and I decided to trust the Lord with our finances, leaving behind the job that provided half our income yet put a heavy strain on our spiritual lives, our family life, and our intimacy. We chose to remember his goodness in our lives and redirected our thoughts and actions in the light of that truth.

You are good and do good. Teach me your statutes.

The school we were excited to head off to this fall asked us to come in 2019 instead of 2018. Thankfully, God had already pulled our hearts toward him before the news came. My husband and I had already chosen to give it to God in prayer. Our hearts were not only spared from being broken, but were enlarged to see the gifts of God in waiting a little longer.

You are good and do good. Teach me your statutes. 

And now I have decided to follow the second half of that sentence, “teach me your statutes.”

Check in next week to see how it’s been looking in my life to be taught the statutes of the Lord in the second half of this post. Until then, head over to my Facebook page and become part of a community. We all may stand face to face with these emotions, doubts, and fears at some point (perhaps at many points. Perhaps daily) and it’s so important to surround ourselves with the truth of God via his Word and via the body of Christ. I’ll post a portion of this blog for anyone to comment on and start a discussion.

Growing in Christ (no matter how slowly!)

Em

4 thoughts on “What If I Can’t Trust God? (Part 1)

  1. I love your honesty and your heart, Michelle. The way God leads and teaches us is very individual, but still we are to witness His true nature through all of it. I believe that God is not a taker. I believe, when Job said said his famous manifesto , blaming God for taking everything away, he didn’t yet understand a nature of God. Later, I believe it’s chapter 42, Job repents of everything he said before. He says “ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance “. You are so right- we live in a fallen world- and the devil is so hard after us, especially after God’s children. His mission is to make us believe that God hurt us and to somehow look for strength to “forgive God”; to make us believe that God is a taker, to make us stop trusting God.
    God never causes death- the enemy does. God didn’t take away Job’s family and possessions- the enemy did. God mourns and grieves with us. God comforts us. God cheers us up. God loves us. And I know you believe in it, too! We just always need to be reminded of who God truly is, and who God is not.

  2. I totally get asking questions…. shortly after my 2nd daughter was born. After coming through a hard pregnancy (that she wasn’t expected to live through) at 9 weeks we found out she has down sydrome. This shook my faith as a young mother.
    I didn’t know what to do with the questions I had and felt like I shouldn’t share them. So, thank you for sharing yours.

    I just changed my blog host and I’m in the process of moving over what I had. This testimony of mine will be there soon. I think you will like it.
    Check out my fb page too God’s Stories of Grace

    1. Hi Crystal! Thanks for dropping by! I am definitely going to read your testimony. I had a teacher when my husband and I were at Bible College who’s youngest daughter was born with down syndrome while they were missionaries in South America. His family’s story of God’s grace was incredible, and his daughter is just beautiful. What God does through our children is amazing and often beyond comprehension. He is good, indeed.
      -Em

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