Lately, I’ve learned (and finally noticed) that I have trust issues. They are not, as you might suppose, trust issues with people, but instead they are rooted in a deep mistrust of our loving Father. I do not trust Him to take care of me. I feel that His love is obligatory, if it’s even actually there at all. I don’t expect Him to answer my prayers, and I don’t expect that He’s all that interested in my life anyway.
In my ‘vast’ knowledge of the Lord, I know that these feelings really have no foundation to stand on; that they are quickly and effectively negated by the bible, but I still find myself despairing at the world around me, because it is wrong. It is sad, misshapen, hateful, bitter, unfair, and calloused, and my heart mourns and laments that it will never be better. So you see, a great mistrust in the Lord.
I have prayed many a time that the Lord would lend me the strength to overcome my doubting heart; that He could make it so that I am wholly reliant and trusting in Him. Blessedly, I believe He is answering this prayer. My despair turned me towards God and pursuing that relationship with an eager heart. Even though I felt, and sometimes still feel, that the world is a forsaken place, a part of my heart knew the only comfort was from the Lord.
I hope you can see that this would never actually be me helping myself; I am quite confident that only the Lord’s grace and the Holy Spirit enabled me to this realization. ‘Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’ James 4:8. This verse gives me great comfort, as it reminds me that my walk with God is a very personable and working relationship. If you had a friend who constantly listened to your sorrows, offered advice, was there in the slightest need, would you not offer in kind affection, thankfulness, and joy? Why then, do I completely ignore God and assume He will take care of everything, including my own actions, thoughts, and feelings without any work on my part? I can only say it must be my sinful, self-entitled nature.
The more time I spend with the Lord, that is praying, thinking about His true character (at least, what I believe his true character to be), and reading scripture, the more I find that I do and can trust Him, as I am getting to know Him better, and slowly but surely He cracks my stony heart, softening it so that it can love Him.
Psalm 86 has also been a close companion of mine during this time. I’ve been enjoying the whole chapter, but here is the piece which has been my hopeful prayer and what I will leave you with:
‘Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.’