Apr 24, 2012

Where Do You Turn When You Don't Trust God Enough?

The house of Israel will never again bring guilt on itself by faithlessly turning to Egypt for help, for they will know that I am the LORD God. (CEB)

Perhaps you really can't answer the question I asked in the title of this reflection: Where do you turn when you don't trust God enough? Perhaps your trust in God is so consistent that you truly cannot answer. If so, that's wonderful. I wish I could say I were just like you.

But, I must confess that I am rather more like the house of Israel when it comes to trusting God. I trust him and have for more than five decades. God has been faithful to me beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Yet, there have been many times in my life when my trust in God faltered. I didn't give up on him completely. But I did try to hedge my bets, as it were. I took some of my trust in God and put it elsewhere, just in case God proved to be unreliable.

For me, the most natural thing to do when I don't trust God enough is to trust myself, especially my ability to solve problems. There have been too many nights in my life when I have taken some major problem, released it to God in prayer, and then gone to sleep. Yet, a few hours later, I wake up obsessing about the problem and how I'm going to solve it. I worry. I scheme. I feel fear. And I do just about anything other than trust God.

The house of Israel was far too small to trust in itself when facing the army of Babylon. So Israel looked elsewhere and found reassurance in Egypt. As the Egyptian forces attacked the Babylonian troops, the Babylonians had to pull back. Perhaps Israel had made the right choice after all. But, before long, the vastly superior army of Babylon chased Egypt away and turned its full fury on Israel.

As I reflect upon Ezekiel 29, I find myself yearning to trust God more. I think of areas of my life that worry me, problems that are beyond my power to solve, challenges that keep me up at night. How I yearn to trust God with these more consistently and completely!

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: So, where do you turn when you don't trust God enough? What are the challenges in your life that you have a hard time truly entrusting to the Lord? What helps you to trust God more?

PRAYER: O Lord, I see myself in Ezekiel 29. Not that I trust in a literal Egypt, of course. But I have my "Egypt," which usually turns out to be myself. When I worry that you are not enough to handle my problems, I take them from you and entrust them to myself. Even to say this, Lord, sounds silly. I'm embarrassed and ashamed by my lack of faith. You have been so utterly trustworthy in my life. Why don't I trust you more?

Forgive me, Lord, for my failure to trust. Forgive me for the arrogance and folly of putting so much trust in myself. Give me a clean, new heart to trust you more. And when the big challenges come, may I rest in you, seeking you, relying upon you, being guided by you, having confidence in you. Amen.

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