I could almost characterize my life as being stuck in the land of "between." The future just seems a bit fuzzy...not the future as in 10 years from now, but the future as in six months from now. For example, last night I officially submitted my application for the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. I am beyond excited about the possibility of officially becoming a Florida Gator, but there is still that nagging hint of worry stuck in the back of my mind, waiting for that final decision to be made. Sometimes relationships can even feel stuck at a stand-still in the crossroads of "between." One day everything is running smoothly, and the next you are left feeling stranded and confused.
At Church of Hope, we have been in a Bible study called Seeds--looking at the foundational truths not only for Church of Hope, but also for our lives as well. One statement stood out to me, that I've had scribbled on my hand for over a week now: God is good & He can be TRUSTED. It is from here that we can love people. After I initially heard that statement, I thought, "Oh, those are cool sentences to Tweet!" But then, as I dug into what that simple statement really meant, my week turned upside-down.
Trust is a hanging-on-word--it's not a weighing-out-your-options kind of word. Trust is a verb. If you paid any attention in English class, then you know that verbs require action. Actions don't necessarily mean (or require) feelings. Like I don't ever feel like working out, but I choose to take action and work out in order to stay healthy. It's the same way with trust. I'm going to be honest here. In the land of between, it's pretty hard to trust God. I never feel like trusting Him. Believe me, I would much rather hold my cards close at hand, and take control; but that's not what God craves.
OK, God has cravings? Actually, yes. Hebrews 11:6 says, "It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him." God craves faith. It literally pleases the God of the universe when I choose to trust that He has a plan for my life that is far greater than I could ever even try to imagine.
Hebrews 11:1-2 says, "The fundamental fact of existence is that this TRUST in God, this faith is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see." These verses are telling us that TRUSTING God is foundational to living. If that doesn't put a whole new perspective on life, I don't know what else will. God's Word is telling us 1) Trusting God is foundational to life, and 2) Faith in God's being able to take care of us pleases God.
Sometimes action can be tiring....liking choosing to work out can be tiring. After running 6.5 miles, I'm not necessarily feeling like going out to run a marathon 30 minutes later. My body is tired. This week, as I struggled with the scribbled statement on my hand, my body wrestled with simply reading this statement and actually choosing to do it. Honestly, I walked out of class just wanting to cry. You know, one of those sit-down-and-ball-your-eyes-out-so-you-can-feel-better types of moments. As I walked to my car pushing back tears, I noticed a piece of paper on my windshield. First thought: "Oh, great. A parking ticket. JUST what I need right now." But as I unfolded the piece of paper, I read a sweet note from a friend. It was in that little moment, that I heard God's voice, whispering an affirmation of certainty: "Emily, choose to TRUST me in the midst of your uncertainty. I promise, I won't let you down."
Isaiah 40:27-31 says, "Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying, 'God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me'? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch His breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their winds and soar like eagles. They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind." WOW. Talk about words of hope. In my weakness, He prevails...He lifts me up. In a flicker of worry about transfer plans, He whispers, "I've got it under control." In the cross-roads of a struggling relationship, He blesses you with a new host of friends you couldn't have even dreamt of asking for. Talk about an AWESOME God!
Tonight as I glance down at my right hand, I'm not begging God for a few scribbled words to resonate within me. As I read "God is good & He can be TRUSTED. It is from here that we can love people," I am thanking God for His whispers of certainty in my uncertain life. And you know what, I'm actually pretty thankful for all of my "uncertain" moments...they're causing me to trust in a God whose greatness I can't even begin to comprehend; but it's in that overwhelming greatness that I'm constantly reminded of an ocean of grace that I'm constantly sinking in. And that's a 100-foot wave that I'd want to crash on my head all the time.