Thursday, April 26

On Doubt and Trust

I was standing at the stove, stirring sizzling onions and garlic in bacon grease, having a conversation in my heart with God.  I all started as I was thinking about an article I'd read earlier this morning about a kidney that was transplanted twice, rejected by the first recipient's body and accepted by the second.  Kidneys make me think of our Aiden and his upcoming yearly pediatric urology visit to check out his kidneys and various plumbing.  Out of these potentially grim thoughts sprung the verse, "she laughs at the days to come".
"Bleh." I said to myself, thinking that for sure that is one area of character of the epitomized proverbial woman that I am doomed to forever fail at emulating.  I don't carefree-ly laugh at the future.  I think it out.  I anticipate any unknowns and plan for them.  I don't want to be surprised by any worse-case scenarios and so I deal with them in my mind first.  Here I must add, in case it isn't obvious, that this isn't something you want to emulate in me.
"Lord, help me to be able to laugh at the future." A genuine prayer.  I know this needs to change.
"You have to doubt my character to doubt the future." A response.  A reminder.  A gentle reproof.
One by one each hardship in my life, each difficult time in our marriage, every bump in the road and hiccup I recalled.  Yuck times.  Times I would have rather done without.  Scared nights, rejection, physical pain, loneliness, all of it.  Through it all God has remained constant.  The character of God remains unchanged.
I've talked to enough people to know that some people have a real struggle with having bad times in life when they are following Christ.  I've heard people say they can't trust God because of what has happened to them or ask me with tears why bad things happen to good people.  Other than the presence of sin on earth and its effects, I have no easy answer.  Sometimes it is our own err and foolishness we are reaping. I can only speak for my experiences and what the word of God says.
God promises to never leave us or forget about us.  Perhaps Job summed it up best when addressed his wife, "should we only accept good things from God and never anything bad?"  In the New Testament, James and Paul encourage us to look past the pain and see the end result.
If you were to ask me if I doubt God's character, I would deny it, but after stirring in pinto beans and seasonings and mushing it all in the griddle while talking with God this afternoon, I shamefacedly have to say I must doubt Him by the way I look at the future.
So while my refried bean enchiladas churn in my stomach, this is churning in my heart.
I appreciate your prayers and thank you for letting me preach at myself tonight,



Miss Paige said...

The best I can do at one reading, dear lady, is tell you that I am another who imagines the worst so I can be foolishly relieved at the end. I don't do this to others: for them I have sympathy and something positive to say. Makes me feel two-faced, it does. I do love Job's bio both for the lessons learned about himself and about his God. But I also find myself in God's word in the person of the man who came to Jesus for healing of his child, pleading, "Lord I believe. Help thou mine unbelief." Even giving God all we can in the way of trust, we can still fall short, And we do. Something Taylor Mali quoted in one of his book, from Mark Twain I think, I just saw today. "The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." I share that, against this matter of reviewing the past to fortify our future, versus looking into the past and finding our future. We like to think of God as the one who was and is and is to come. That's for our finite minds. Truth is, it would be simpler to train ourselves, along with the constancy of God's character, to the fact that God is now. He is always now.

Chelsea said...

A post that the Lord knew I needed to read tonight - I too deal with the worst case in my mind first. It's even worse and harder right now as I was just diagnosed with cancer (on top of all my other medical conditions) last week. It's hard to trust the character of God when you are worried about the possibility of leaving your husband, 2 year old son and 1 month old son behind. It makes you doubt the character of God. Thanks for the reminder to laugh at the future because it too is in God's hands.

Carmine said...

This post really got me thinking. I too am a major planner, and shudder at the thought of laughing at the future. But if He holds the sparrow, why would I think that He wouldn't hold me?

Aaron and Amber said...

I am remembering you in prayer. I love your blog and while laid up with a foot ouch actually read from the beginning. It has been a great source of encouragement to me. For that I say, "Thank you!"

Sarah said...

After reading this and the other posts I have decided that this seemingly common-to-women behavior of imagining the worst case scenario is a gift from God but we distort it and do not keep it under the submission of Christ. God gives mothers this to probably protect her children from things that she has been given the foresight to see and prevent inasmuch God will allow her to. But our imaginations are wild and not easily controlled by the Spirit or ourselves and we turn what was meant to be a useful tool into something not of God. We fear. We are anxious. We worry. We lack trust that God has our best in mind. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, let not a mighty man boast of his might, but let him who boasts, boast of this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the God who exercises lovingkindness and righteousness on the earth for I delight in these things.” But did you catch that last part? He delights in exercising lovingkindness. When I assume twistedly that my God is out to punish me for every little failure and only perfection will please, I remember how detrimental that thinking is to the power of the cross of Christ and how much of God's character I seemingly forget when I make so many assumptions. I don't have to assume who He is or what His plan is. He made sure I had a copy of it. In writing. Doubt is dead and faithful trusting is alive in our relationship because I make an aggressive action against my imagination and mind and renew it by the Word. I'm so thankful we're not left to ourselves to figure life out but we have incredible tools and an incredible Christ who blazed the path for us and with us.

Corinna @ Butterflies and Bicycles said...

You are so incredibly inspiring, Hannah. So open and honest and touching people's lives by being who you are and not afraid to admit it. I just wrote about my 'ordinary' day today and it seems so insignificant in relation to such major heart-wrenching of a Mother's heart, which your son's health must surely be.