|Mark 9:24 – “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”|
Growing up I developed some skewed perceptions of love and trust, so I have been doing some work on reframing those lately. While praying about trust in these last few weeks, I was reminded of a short story I read a few years ago.
In the story, a white stallion had found its way into an old man’s field. All the villagers congratulated the old man on his good fortune. The old man asked, “Is it a curse or a blessing? We only see just a sliver. Who can see what will come next?” Sometime after, the horse ran off and the villagers were then convinced the stallion was a curse. The old man stated, “I cannot see as He sees.” Then the stallion returned and brought with him 12 more horses. The villagers declared the horse was a blessing again. The old man simply stated, “It is as He wills, and I give thanks for His will.” Then one day the old man’s son was thrown off the horse and he broke his leg. The villagers declared the horse to be a curse. The old man stated, “We will see. It is as His will, and I give thanks for His will.”
A short time later there was a draft for war and all the young men were taken out to battle. The old man’s son was passed over from the draft because of his broken leg. The villagers again declared the horse to be a blessing. The old man stated, “We only see a sliver of the sum. We cannot see how the bad might be good. God is sovereign and He is good, and He sees and works all things together for good.”
This old man trusted God even when his circumstances were not desirable. It made me think of how I can often be like the villagers and judge a situation as good or bad prematurely. So often I find that my disappointment arises from what my expectations of good outcomes are and do not happen. But with my limited perspective, how can I rightly judge an outcome as being good or bad?
There’s a song I like and one of the lines says, “If it’s not good, then He’s not done.” This line gives me hope. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” His word does not say everything will always be good, but He does cause everything we go through to work together for good.
I heard this analogy once of our experiences being like a cookie recipe. When all the ingredients are mixed, a delicious cookie comes out of it. But if you separate the ingredients and ate them just one at a time, it would not be pleasant. Have you tried tasting vanilla extract on its own? It smells good but by itself does not taste good on its own. How about a spoonful of just baking soda? or just salt?
We can’t be certain of what our future holds. So how do we stay faithful in trusting God, especially in the unknown? We can look at his resume. We can turn to His word and see proof of His faithfulness. Look at the story of Joseph and how God proved that He was trustworthy. He didn’t remove him from the difficulties of life, but He stood with Joseph through them. And in turn, Joseph was able to prosper in the face of his hardships and adversity.
We can ask God to help us in our unbelief – One prayer I pray often is “God, I trust you, but help me in my lack of trust.” We can choose to trust even if we don’t feel like it. Trust isn’t an emotion but an action. I can struggle in this area because it is so easy to let my feelings dictate my actions. It takes much more effort to let my actions dictate my emotions.
Keep a record of when God has been faithful as a reminder that He is in all the details of our story. It builds up our expectations, confidence, and trust in Him for the future. We can turn to His word and speak His promises out loud. This is something that I’ve recently started doing and it has been a game-changer – Say it until you mean it.
Lastly, release all the other things we put our trust in and place it all with God. God will multiply what you give Him, so lay all your eggs down in His basket and exchange them for all His promises.