This is no ordinary holiday season for my family. There are painful realities every which way we turn. I am praying myself up for a follow-up CT scan on Monday. This time I will not go it alone. My husband is taking me. Most of all, I pray for peaceful thoughts. I don’t want to obsess about the contrast dye that will be injected into my vein. I don’t want to obsess and wonder whether or not my lymph nodes are enlarged and, if so, what that may entail. I just want to hold onto Jesus and my family this Christmas.
Have you ever had a word whispered in your heart so clearly, you know it is assurance from the Holy One? Lately I’ve been hearing the word, “trust.” It leaps out at me from Bible verses as I read them. It settles in my anxious heart and brings me a measure of peace. I know in my head that God calls me to trust him. I trusted him with my life when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. But what about beyond the obvious? What does it mean to trust in the Lord, for real life?
The English definition of trust is the
assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
We trust people and companies without even thinking twice about it. For example, I trusted UPS last week when I paid money to have a package shipped. I had an inner assumption that UPS would do the job I paid it to do. I put my Christmas cards in the mailbox this morning, trusting that the postman would take them out and would make sure they all reached their intended destinations. We trust our vehicles to get us across town or even across the country. When we buy a plane ticket to, say, Hawaii, we trust that the airline will get us there instead of dropping us off in New York. We even trust our email providers to send our electronic messages instantly. Why is it, then, that we have a difficult time trusting God?
Perhaps it’s because our prayers don’t come with tracking numbers? Seriously, it is a harder thing to trust in the unseen, especially when we have prior experience with suffering. I dread Monday’s CT scan, and this time it isn’t fear of the unknown. It’s fear based on what happened to me last time. I don’t want to get nauseous again. That is my anxiety trigger, and it happened the last time I had the CT scan. So, my brain automatically assumes that it very possibly might happen again on Monday. Is it the end of the world if I get nauseous? Not to you, it isn’t. But to my obsessive compulsive, phobic self, it feels like the end of the world.
I fear for the children of my friends Leslie and Brent, who just learned that Mommy is moving away from Daddy. These children are being uprooted from their family and from their home. They will be trading a house for an apartment. They will be going from one school to another. They’ll have to make new friends, and they now have worries that they might not see Daddy again. It’s sad enough to make me weep.
Still I hear those words: Trust Me.
But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13: 5
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7
…in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. Psalm 25:2
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8
He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:10
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. John 14:1
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
There is much, much more God wants us to know about trust, but those few verses are a good beginning. One of the secular topics I learned about in college as I was studying to be a teacher is the power of positive self-talk and self-fulfilling prophesies. A student who believes he is capable of mastering a topic and applies himself with diligence, will master that topic. A student who believes she is not intelligent enough to understand a topic will likely not put forth the effort because she believes it is pointless — and will then fulfill her own beliefs because she will not master the topic. This principle can be applied to real-life in those situation that require trust in God.
As my friend Brent stands, battered and bruised from abuse by his wife, he can get a mental image of himself as an olive tree, flourishing in the house of God. He call recall this image every time his mind begins to dwell on the hurt or every time Satan tries to use this situation to drag him down with depression.
When I feel depression soaking in and deadening my skin like sleet, and when clouds and sorrows threaten to block out all light from my weary heart, I can recall the image of myself, walking through an obstacle in pitch blackness without a flashlight or a star to guide me. In those times I will get through, if I trust in the name of the LORD (rely on His ability, character, and power). If I recall the sweeping miracles throughout history, I know that He will see me through this stale darkness and will lead me to a place of freshness.
As I stretch out my body on the CT table and offer up my arm for the IV, I can feel not just peace, but perfect peace if I let my mind be steadfast. That verse from Isaiah 26 uses the Hebrew word camak for steadfast. It literally means to lean on….to brace oneself…to support yourself…to refresh, and to revive. What a picture! As the IV drips through my veins, I will attempt an experiment in trust…in camak. I’ll conjure up an image in my mind’s eye of the Lord not only supporting me through the anxiety, but also refreshing and reviving me. And I will also experience joy this tumultuous Christmas when I capture the other verse about trust in my heart: I will not fear bad tidings. I will keep my thoughts fixed on Him and his mighty power to save, to heal, to revive and to refresh.
I pray the Lord will help me do this TRUST thing with all I have within me. Although there won’t be any tracking numbers affixed to this prayer, I know He hears me, cares for me, and will work out everything for my deliverance. And that is from God’s word to your heart:
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (Phil 1:19)