…I wonder

A Trust Issue (TFM #7)

A Trust IssueThe Fighting Man (Part 7)

I woke up Wednesday morning at 4:00 AM and did something I never do. I purposely touched my chest and under my fingertips I felt a lump. My heart jumped – my eyes jerked open and I was, of a sudden, wide awake. A sick, knowing realization overtook me; over 50 and a lump in my left breast. Phew! My immediate thoughts were on the fact that we have no health insurance and our bank accounts are still waiting for the Lord’s Favor. This was not good.

Other thoughts followed – some not so nice; doomsday kind of thoughts, if you know what I mean.

I had been writing the latest article and, as is the custom, whenever I have a subject that burns in my heart, God faithfully provides a trial to go along with it in order to be able to fully write about the experience. What is the latest article I’ve been writing? Trusting in God. No matter what.

There was a time when I didn’t trust Him. I thought I did, but He proved me wrong.

Following is a short summary of what we’ve covered so far in this series of articles, The Fighting Man.

Recap

After I experienced the personalized healing described in The Healing Touch, and after I realized my worth in His eyes, I became aware that God had His work cut out for Him in me! What chaos I was bringing to the table. If you recall, I had made quite a mess of my life as described in The State of my Heart; now it had to be cleaned up. There are, after all, consequences for each action. Some things would be easy, others would require a lengthy process which would involve a lot of emotional upheavals. You can’t get rid of the poison without having to throw it up, and that is an unpleasant task.

I was, and am, a work in progress…

Philippians 1:6 Amplified And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

As my Dear Brother, Pastor Ken Delgado of The House of Prayer International put it, “Notice that He called you a good work! Not a bad work getting fixed but a good work being completed. So often we judge ourselves like we would judge a car on the assembly line – a mess! But God sees the Mercedes-Benz that is coming off the production line – a good work seen by His eyes from the start to the end.”

Love Based Salvation

God offers salvation through His grace; not by anything I’ve done or not done, but because He loves me:

John 3:16 NIV For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT 8God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

He then let me see His presence in my life and how He really saw me. He was with me during all the difficult times, even when my choices were definitely against His Will for me. And He personally told me I was Beautiful in His eyes.

Now, about that trust issue… I still couldn’t totally trust Him. I tried but I could not quite fathom His love for me. I felt I had been brought up in a conditional-love type of home; if I was good, I was loved; if I was bad, I wasn’t. In my eyes I was judged, condemned and criticized; constantly being corrected.

In addition, I had been delivered from twenty years of living a religion where works are all important. If I performed, I was rewarded. If I was good enough, I got the privileges.

All this had made my life a “works” based life, and I wasn’t cutting it. I found myself struggling with my view of God as a Father. My head knew what God said in His scriptures, but my heart refused to be in agreement with that knowledge.

1 John 3:1 NLT See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.

Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Ephesians 1:4-6 NLT 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

I experienced a great deliverance during Beth Moore’s Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender. This one helped me deal with a lot of past issues; but most importantly, it showed me God’s true love for me. The Greek word agape (ə-GAH-pay) means the love as revealed in Jesus, spiritual and selfless and our model. What we know of love is more of a phileo (fil-eh’-o) type of love – casual, friendly, brotherly love.

But God’s love is an agape love. Unconditional, total, without strings attached, concerned, consuming. He loves us with that kind of love.

As I learned more about His love for me, my trust grew. But there was one more issue that He needed to address. I didn’t trust Him completely in EVERY situation.

The Issue Rears its Head

I had an issue that I was battling with God. A huge issue. I felt that He had given me a gift, but the beautifully wrapped gift contained a rattlesnake and I was continually hurt by it. I kept asking God why I had to have this gift if it was so painful. I think it was more like shaking my fist at Him and demanding an answer.

One day, the issue came up again and I was deeply wounded in my heart. So hurt that I escaped the house and walked barefoot in the cold Fall rain for a couple of hours.

I sobbed and complained to My God, “I have had enough of this life and I no longer want any part of it! I am tired. So tired of dealing with problems and issues. When will it ever get better? When do I get relief? I’m done, Daddy! I don’t want to play the game of life anymore. Just take me now! Give me a heart attack – let me go with pneumonia. Whatever! Just do it! I know that You’ll take care of my kids just like You took care of…”

And that was when realization slammed into me – I didn’t think He had taken care of me. I didn’t trust Him. I thought I did, but I really didn’t. I trusted Him so far, but complete trust? Nope.

I get what I call a soul hum. I play the guitar and I’ve noticed that if I sing a note, the proper guitar string will hum in response. I am in tune with that guitar. That what I call these slams into my soul. It’s like when God talks to me, my soul hums in response. I am in complete tune with Him and I know that I know He is speaking to me.

John 10:4-6 (Amplified Bible) When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

That’s what happened then – my soul hummed strongly in response to His Revelation. That’s when I had to make a decision as to whether I was going to truly and fully trust Him or not.

Isaiah 26:3 NLT
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

What Does a Lack of Trust Look Like?

I know a man who told me He trusted God. However, when he experienced a life-changing trial, he told me he no longer trusted Him.

I told him that this is how I envision it:

You tell God, “I trust You.”

He responds, “Do you really?” and then He hands you a trial.

“Sure! I still trust You!”

He gently counters, “Do you?” And a trial is sent that is a little more difficult.

You respond, “Uh… yeah.. Um… I still trust You.”

Now a big draw from the trust account comes with a very difficult trial, and God lovingly and gently asks “Do you still trust Me?”

“No!” you respond in anger or hurt. “I don’t trust You any more! You aren’t there for me!”

That revealed that this man didn’t really trust Him in the first place. It is a conditional trust based on what he received from God. But Our Father knows all things and He knows what is best for us.

There are reasons why we experience trials. Some tough trials occur because of our choices. Some because we live in fallen world. And some things are meant to make us better people if we will just submit to His gentle proddings. He is busy refining us.

The Trial Continues

That’s what had been written so far in this article you are reading. I hadn’t finished it and now I’ve got this very big trial looming ahead of me. I’m looking at dealing with a lump in my breast with no health insurance. I tried to go back to sleep but had no luck.

I got up and went to the couch and being open, I told My God, “I’m going to be honest with you, Daddy – I’m scared. I don’t want to leave my children. I really want to finish home-schooling them, see them grow up, and meet all my grandchildren. I want to see what You have planned for them, and see them walk in Your ways.

“But if Your will is that this ends up with me having to go to Heaven, I will be so glad to finally see Your face, touch Your hands, look into Your eyes, and hear the Voice that has resonated in my soul for so long! You will be with me – I won’t be alone.

“If it is cancer and I have to go through chemotherapy and radiation, You will strengthen me to be able to go through it. I will not be alone, You will be with me.

“If it is nothing, then I will have learned something because You will be with me. I trust You, and I know that in ALL things You work for the good of those who love You and who have been called according to Your purpose. (Romans 8:28) Help me, Lord, send me Your Favor and send those to help me in this situation.”

He Responds

I prayerfully and randomly opened the scriptures, asking for a Word from Him – a personal Word just for me. My Bible opened up to Psalm 91. I read:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

I then remembered that a very Dear Friend of mine had sent me a scripture by text earlier that day. I dug it out and looked at the reference – Proverbs 3. I turned to it and read:

21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

That gave me great courage. I cast out all fear still acknowledging that I was worried, but reliant on God and trusting in His Plan for me.

That very evening, I called an OB-GYN whom I had met a couple of weeks earlier at a women’s meeting I had been invited to. I knew Teresa because God had led me to her. I noticed God’s Hand at work when she got me into her office the next day by 9:00 AM.

The soonest a mammogram could be scheduled was in 10 days. The nurse who was helping me said that was unacceptable and God got me one at another place by 10:30AM this same morning. God’s Hand was there as this new place charged me about $370 less than if I had done it at the Doctor’s Office.

I held Jesus’s Hand during the painful process of a mammogram. I’ve never had a very high tolerance for pain, so as it went on I would imagine holding His Hand and telling Him that He suffered so much more pain than I was enduring at the time – and He did it for me. He strengthened me for all twelve x-rays! When my thoughts were on Him and what He had endured, my pain was forgotten.

God’s Hand showed up when the lumps in *both* breasts turned out to be only cysts. Hallelujah! What a journey this has been over the last two days. What a myriad of emotions I have felt, and I realized what my real priorities should be. It was a great wake up call. My task list has gotten shorter and my people time has increased. That’s what it’s all about, after all!

I had so many talks with God. I prayed constantly and I continually told Him that I trusted Him.

Because I know that My God is always with me, no matter what.

Proverbs 3:5 NIV Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Trust in God

Trials are meant to help us become better children of God.

Psalm 66:10 NIV For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Zechariah 13:9 NIV This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’

Beth Moore, in the Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender series, said it was like God putting silver (that’s you and me, as a valuable metal) into the furnace. It’s hot, it’s uncomfortable, even painful. As it melts, all the impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. More time in the furnace, more fire, more intense heat, and more impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. When God is done cleaning the impurities out, what does He see? He sees Himself reflected on the surface of the silver. We are reflecting God’s Glory and His Person.

What a beautiful picture!

And that is what God did with me. He cleaned out that impurity of not trusting Him. Since then, I’ve trusted Him no matter what and thing always turn out for the better. Even painful situations.

As Matthew Henry explains:

“Throw your cares, which are so cutting and distracting, which wound your souls and pierce your hearts, upon the wise and gracious providence of God; trust in him with a firm composed mind, for he careth for you. He is willing to release you of your care, and take the care of you upon himself. He will either avert what you fear, or support you under it. He will order all events to you so as shall convince you of his paternal love and tenderness towards you; and all shall be so ordered that no hurt, but good, shall come unto you,’’

Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Pe 5:5). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

He only has good in His heart for those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose. It may be uncomfortable sometimes, but good always comes from it, when I trust Him and continue in His Will.

Trusting in God is a major part of eliminating The Fighting Man within me. If I trust Him, then I know that everything that happens is because He is at work, doing something for my good or for the good of others. Every situation now counts towards His Glory. That serves to remind me that even during difficult situations with other people, I need to react with God at the helm: Prayerfully, Scripturally, Gently, Kindly, and with His Words coming from my mouth.

May God bless you with Faith and Trust in Him Who works all things for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His Purpose.

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