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Do you ever have trouble trusting God?

By Katherine Holloway
In Got Questions
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Do you ever have trouble really trusting God? Truly believing that He is good and His plans are good? Can you know that He is present and is working all things together when everything around you seems hopeless and falling apart?

At different seasons of life, I have struggled with trusting God. No matter how many times God cared for and rescued His people in Scripture or in the lives of my friends and family, I still wonder if He will do the same for me. Even when I look back on my own life and see His love and care for me, I think, “I know you did it before, but will you do it again?” or “I know you would do it for someone else, but will you do it for me?”

Several years ago, I was facing the possibility of death from a life-threatening illness. I didn’t know what lay ahead of me. During this uncertain time, He gave me a promise that I wrote on the whiteboard in my hospital room. I read this over and over.

Isaiah 42:16 says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known. Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

I had head knowledge that the Lord would guide me, but while I lay in bed reflecting on this verse, the Lord illustrated it for me by recalling a vacation I took with my daughter several years before. On vacation, we hired a guide and took an all-day hike. The guide warned us when we were about to encounter some rough and difficult terrain, showed us that just ahead we would find a mango grove and be able to take a rest and eat mangoes, told us about some flowers that we would encounter on the trail, and let us know when we would stop and eat lunch.

Our guide knew these things because he had already been on this trail, and he knew what was ahead and was able to encourage us along the way and prepare us for rough times as well as times of refreshment. I was really glad I hired him.

As if a light went on, I finally understood that like our trail guide, God has already gone before us and knows what we will encounter. Our experiences are never a surprise to Him. He walks alongside us to encourage us to trust Him to show us the way. This verse gave me hope that whatever lay ahead, God was already there, and He would take care of me.

I face another uncertain time now as a new season of life is beginning. The nonprofit I’ve worked with for the last 14 years is shutting down, and I am asking, “What about my friends in Africa, Lord? Will you take care of them now amid job loss and a global pandemic? What’s next for me? Do you really know what you’re doing? Where is the good in this? Will you come through this time?”

And again, the Lord reminds me that He already knows what is ahead and will guide me one step at a time along the path.

I have a lot of time on my hands right now as we are socially isolating from a global pandemic. Spending time experiencing the presence of God is bringing me peace as He reminds me of this promise. I enjoy being active, so I’ve engaged my body to walk, my eyes to experience the beauty of spring flowers, and my ears to hear the birds singing for joy. I return the waves and greetings of neighbors who a month ago wouldn’t have even looked my way. I am reminded that all of this was created by God. And that if He put so much effort into creating such beauty for things that will fade away quickly, He will care for me. He will make a way forward for my ultimate good and His glory. All I must do is experience His presence, rest in His promise, and listen for His voice as He guides me.

This voice can come in the form of a thought (usually something surprising that I would never think myself), the words of a friend, words on a page, a song, or myriad other ways. And it usually appears multiple times, because sometimes it takes a while for me to realize He’s talking to me. Margaret Feinberg calls this the Sacred Echo. If I am focused on Him and desiring to do His will, He will not let me miss the path. He is faithful to keep me going in the right direction through any means at His disposal.

Will the future look anything like I think it should? Definitely not, if the past is any indication. But even though I have no idea what lies before me, I take comfort in knowing that He has always directed my path, and He will not fail to do it this time, or the next time, or the time after that! And I know this because He has always been faithful through some very difficult times in my life. When I ask, “Will you do it again for me?” His answer is always “Yes, Katherine. Watch and see what I will do.”

So I am watching and waiting to see what He will do this time as I enjoy His presence.

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