How To Trust God

I just had surgery to reattach a ruptured biceps tendon.  It’s been a difficult time from that first “Dang, that hurt!” moment.  But I’ve learned a lot through this (in addition to being able to answer questions like, “Do you have any idea how hard it is to put your socks on with one hand?”).

I’ve had an audience with God in this.  That’s about the only way I can put it at this point.  And I didn’t even have to endure all that Job did to have that audience.

I’ve been on a real emotional roller coaster ride since the day I busted this tendon.  I remember the pain and the shock and the fear when I felt it tear.  I remember the anxiety when it seemed like my doctors were going to deny me the reattachment surgery (they told me things like, “Brett Favre ruptured his biceps tendon and he didn’t have it reattached – and he’s a professional athlete,” and “In Europe they don’t even do that surgery any more”).  I remember how frustrated I was over all the dithering and all the delays I experienced trying to get myself fixed.  And I remember the worry over the prospect that they may have waited too long and the tendon wasn’t repairable (a concern that the surgeon also had).

None of those memories is very positive, of course.

But I also remember my washer story.  In short, after getting some good advice from a doctor friend and making an appointment with the doctor who would be my surgeon, I was consumed with making my case to him about why I needed to have this surgery that his boss the attending surgeon had pooh-poohed and argued couldn’t be done at this point.  A lost washer from a ruptured cane tip that God helped me find in five miles of desert the day before that appointment got my attention long enough for God to tell me: “I’m in control here.  And the fact that I care about your stupid washer ought to tell you that I care about what the most important things in your life.  And if I want you to have your tendon repaired, it will be repaired; it’s not up to any bureaucrats or even any doctors.  I’m the one you need to trust.”

I was able to trust God the next day when I went to my appointment with the surgeon with the peace of Christ rather than all the concerns I’d been having.  But I was still amazed how easy that appointment turned out to be, as the surgeon said, “If you want me to try to reattach that tendon, I’ll try to do it.  I can’t make any promises about whether the surgery will be successful, but we’ll try.”  After several months of feeling like I’d been banging my head against the wall trying to get that surgery, the day after I found my washer I was finally hearing the words I wanted to hear hopefully just short of too late.

I was – after a lot of wrestling with it – able to trust God with the outcome of the surgery when I compared the various outcomes: during the four months since I’d ruptured the tendon, most of my strength had returned, and if the surgery were unsuccessful, I was told the recovery would be very rapid and I’d be back to my normal routine in no time.  On the one hand.  But on the other hand, I obviously didn’t want to have surgery if that surgery was going to be unsuccessful.  I wanted that tendon attached.  But the recovery will take a minimum of three months of very slow healing due to the fact that tendons get so little blood supply and tendons don’t just anchor themselves back to bones without a lot of time and a lot of pain and rehab.  I finally decided that I wanted to do what was wisest for the long-term, rather than be distracted by the short-term.  And I would have the surgery and put my trust in God, and if it wasn’t successful I would know that I’d at least tried versus realizing ten years from now that I wish I’d had that surgery and regretting that I hadn’t.

I had a similar moment of realization a month ago when I realized I had no idea whether I should zig or whether I should zag.  And I was able to just turn it over to the Lord out of sheer realization that I had no way of knowing what would be best for me.  A lot more of live is like that than we think – and it’s when we THINK we know what is best that we’re usually the most dangerous.

So that was the second thing I learned.  Realize that God is the Creator of the Universe and has a far greater plan than you do.  We think we know what’s best for us, but we simply don’t.  for example, if you don’t get fired from that lousy job you were so afraid to lose, how would you have ended up getting that far better and more satisfying job?  You were SURE losing that job would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to you; but it was the BEST thing.  Or if you don’t lose that lousy, good for nothing boyfriend or girlfriend that you try so hard to please, how will you end up meeting that perfect man or woman that God has for you?  We just don’t know what’s best for us.  And the best thing for us is to trust a God who loves us and knows the end from the beginning.

Well, not long after I finally realized that my best plan was to let God do the planning and turn it over to Him, I had the surgery.  And the surgery was successful.  My parents drove me to the hospital and were the first to hear the doctor’s report after my surgery.  And when I was in the recovery room I heard the report, too.  The surgeon was very pleasantly surprised by something that he’d never heard of having happened: somehow my tendon had been hung-up or caught on the bone and even though it was ruptured it had not slipped down my arm the way busted biceps tendons tend to do.  And while sometimes tendons that have ruptured are simply too damaged – literally in a spaghetti-like state – to be able to reattach to the bone, mine was still in pretty good shape  in spite of the injury and in spite of the months that had gone by since I’d ruptured it.  The surgeon was able to do a good, solid repair right where he wanted to do it, rather than having the choices limited by the location and condition of my tendon.  And he literally finished in less than half the time he thought the surgery would take, because that tendon getting hung-up on the bone like that made it so easy for him.

That tendon getting hung-up on the bone was no fortunate accident; it was the result of a God who was letting me know that He is there and I can trust Him with everything I am and everything I have.

Well, anyway, I was thinking about the idea of praising God for all things, whether seemingly good things or even seemingly bad things, and of course I started out by manifesting the wrong attitude.

I thought, “Lord, if this surgery and all I’m going to have to go through end up being successful, I’ll be able to thank you for everything.  The surgery was successful, but I’ve got to NOT MESS MYSELF UP while the tendon slowly reattaches itself to the bone over and above the surgical repair.  And if I can get back to normal, yes, I’ll be grateful for the whole process.  Even the pain and BOY DOES IT HURT sometimes.  Even the fact that I would give ANYTHING to be able to take my arm out of this stupid sling and just STRETCH it.  Even though I can hardly put my socks on and I can hardly brush my teeth wrong-handed and all the rest of the frustrating things that you find out you can’t do when you’re down to your non-dominant arm/hand to do them.  I’ll be thankful for it all because it was all part of the process of getting to where I needed to be and I had to go through all of this to get there.

And that’s what life amounts to: trusting God that somehow you’ll end up all right, no matter what happens that seems to be really bad at the time.

There’s the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent Creator of the space-time universe over there, and there’s little tiny me over here.  And which one do I trust has the better plan???  Particularly given the fact that my entire life has been one long lesson in my propensity to screw things up???

A couple of famous Bible verses come to mind.

There’s Romans 8:28, which says:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

What is “the good”?  How often have I THOUGHT something was best but been wrong.  I didn’t have all the facts, I didn’t know all the angles, I didn’t have the right perspective.  But my all-knowing God is never blindsided by unexpected developments.  He always knows all the angles and He’s ALWAYS got the right perspective.  And He knows that we often just have to go through unpleasant things that seem painful or hard for us because we need to go through those things to get where we most need to be when we need to be there.

We can trust Him.

But there’s also 1 Peter 5:7, which assures me:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

This is the same God who created us in His image so that one day He could assume our image and live a perfectly life so that He could take the blame and literally be tortured and murdered so that He could die in our place and take the penalty that we deserved.

Yeah.  He cares.

My whole life as I look up at the stars at night is the same thing that I’m thinking about in the aftermath of this surgery: as long as it all works out in the end, I can be thankful for everything that happened along the way.

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.  But that doesn’t matter.  Because I DO know that it will work out.  I DO know that ultimately everything will be okay.  I DO know that in a million years, a billion, a trillion, I’ll be with my God in heaven and everything I went through on this earth will seem very, very small.

There are things going on in my own life, and in the lives of friends who are very dear to me, that I can’t explain and don’t understand and don’t want.  But we’re each of us in God’s hands and God has a plan and unlike me He knows what He’s doing.

A lot of people resent the idea of a sovereign, omnipotent God who is in control over all things.  Because if God is in control over even the smallest things in life, YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL.  And a lot of people simply cannot handle a God who precludes their being able to take credit for how wonderful they think they are and how successful they think they have been.  If you are LeBron James, you didn’t create the body you would be born with, and if you are Bill Gates, you didn’t create your mind that you would be born with.  God did.  And in the same way neither were you responsible for putting most of the fortuitous circumstances into your life that enabled you to be what you are today, for better or for worse.  God is.

So that’s my third lesson in all of this.

For most of us, life seems to come at us randomly.  Good things happen, bad things happen.  And we just muddle through.

God wants us to be able to look past the drudge and past the pain and past the seeming randomness and see Him.

And it really is true what Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).  When you look for God, He has a way of making sure that you find Him.  You’ll be able to see Him everywhere, even in the smallest details.  When you don’t look for God, you won’t be able to see Him even when He makes Himself obvious.  It is as if when you deny the reality of God, you become a cartoon character and live in a two-dimensional world when there is really so much more depth that you refuse to see.  And in the same way, when you trust God, He has a way of making Himself trustworthy, whereas when you keep holding on to yourself and what you can do to change your world for yourself, you will somehow never be able to find a trustworthy God.

Trust comes down to the simple realization that God knows best and He’s able to make things happen in a way that you’re not able to make things happen.  And it comes down to casting your anxiety upon Him, because you know He cares for you.

I of course STILL don’t know whether this surgery will ultimately result in a successful outcome.  I could tear the tendon loose five minutes from now as the result of a fall or some accident, or it could heal to be every bit as stable as it was before I hurt it.  That’s what we call “the uncertainties of life.”  And we tend to fixate on all the uncertainties rather than THE certainty that there is a God at work working all things together for the good for those of us who have placed our trust in Him.  There’s no uncertainty at ALL about our eternal future, and all we’re dealing with down here is rocks on the path to a great eternal destination.

So here’s to being thankful to God and trusting Him.

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16 Responses to “How To Trust God”

  1. AKA John Galt Says:

    Reblogged this on U.S. Constitutional Free Press.

  2. #AceNewsGroup Says:

    Reblogged this on Ace News Services 2014 and commented:
    #ANS2014

  3. Richard M Nixon (Deceased) Says:

    Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.

  4. Gunny G Says:

    Reblogged this on BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    GunnyG!

  5. HL Says:

    Hi Michael. I think this is the best post you have ever written in the 6 years I have been reading your blog. I am grateful.
    We are walking through one of the most challenging trials we’ve faced in our personal lives, and the ‘bottom line’ I come to over and over again are the lessons you articulated above. Am I going to TRUST my Jesus as good and able to work this out for our good? Or am I not???
    Am I going to cast my anxieties on Him over and over again or carry them myself???
    Bottom line, HE is GOOD and HE WILL WORK THIS FOR OUR GOOD……………no matter how terrible, awful, heartbreaking and painful our situation is.
    Thanks again for sharing your lessons learned and if the Lord brings us to mind, would you please pray for us?
    Your friend,
    HL

  6. AR Says:

    Thank you. This blog was a very specific and timely answer to a prayer that I offered up in desperation last night as I was falling asleep. My husband and I have reached an unprecedented crossroads. The Lord is taking our lives in a direction that requires stepping away from everything and everyone I have ever known. I have found myself in a traumatic and paralyzingly crisis of belief…wanting to trust His intentions, wanting to know that we have heard Him correctly…wanting to be found faithful and obedient. Last night I realized I was struggling to trust my husband’s leading in this and battling to hold on to faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty. I went to sleep a beggar and awakened to the satisfying reassurance of your encouraging word.

  7. Michael Eden Says:

    AR,

    That is so wonderful.

    I actually had the thought that prompted me to write this article late in the night. I wanted to just take a note or two and then write it up in the late morning or early afternoon when I had time. But there was that urging to write it NOW so it would be done. I now see who was telling me to do that. It was God, who knew that you needed to hear from Him.

    AR, God uses people and circumstances to reach us, to shake us out of our comfort zones, as WELL as to comfort us and give us guidance when we most need it. We’re told that if no humans are available, God will use ANGELS to do this work for Him (Hebrews 13:2).

    The most frequent command in all of Scripture comes down to two words: fear not. Do not be afraid. The last thing on earth that God wants His people to have is a spirit of fear or of doubt.

    I think of Mary and of Joseph. They had a hundred-plus mile journey (I forget the distance, but it would have taken them several days) – with Mary heavily pregnant. It was a difficult, dangerous journey. And I can imagine that it occurred to them more than once as poor Mary tried to keep going that God was not there for them the way they thought He said He would be.

    They had to go through that to get to their Bethlehem, the place where God could use them and bless them like never before.

    You’ve got your OWN Bethlehem to get to, AR. God has a plan and a purpose for you, and all you have to do is trust Him and keep moving forward. Do the best you can with what you have, THANK GOD for what you have, maintain that attitude of gratitude that God will somehow provide, and pray, pray, pray.

    You mention your husband’s leading. I want to point out for EVERYONE that wives are to submit to their husband’s authority and leadership on the one hand. But that’s become a mocking point in our age of feminism. So let me add that husbands have it TOUGHER: because husbands are to love their wives and their families as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). And that means SACRIFICIAL leadership. He isn’t bossing around for his own good or to feed his own ambitions or satisfy his own whims; he is sacrificially leading toward what is best for his wife and for his family. He is willing to suffer and even die to protect his wife and his family and ensure that they get to the place that God would have that family be. THAT is how a husband leads his wife biblically.

    I don’t know the details of your move or your situation, AR, but I promise that I will start praying for you, that God would lead you through all the difficulties to your Bethlehem where God can use you and bless you and your family.

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    HL,

    I wrote a very nice response to you. Too bad I hit the wrong key (which I’ve found is so very easy to do with my T-Rex arm in the sling) and lost it. So this is “take two.”

    Thanks so much for your loving support.

    I have many times said (and in a back-patting sort of way) that I have been able to trust God in the big things, but it is the small things that I continue to cling. But that really isn’t very much to honk my horn about, because usually in the big things I have finally figured out that I am NOT in control. Whereas with the small things I still continue to believe that I can make it on my own, that I can take care of it, and hey maybe God is busy up there…

    The thing about the “little things” is that they are by definition LITTLE. God wants us to be “big picture people.” He doesn’t want us to get bogged down in the small details.

    It’s actually quite silly when I think of it: I truly believe that God has a place for me in heaven. SO WHY IS IT SO HARD TO TRUST HIM WITH WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH MY STUPID LITTLE PROBLEMS THAT ARE ALL INSIGNIFICANT IN COMPARISON WITH MY ETERNITY???

    I wouldn’t trade my faith in God for all the wealth in the world. SO WHY DON’T I USE IT???

    Do you see what I mean???

    I don’t want God to be God over my big things; I want Him to be God over my EVERYthings.

    The secret to happiness in this world is putting into practice the realization that we don’t have to go through this adventure called “life” alone because God WANTS to be part of our journey and lead us and guide us.

    He has a plan that is frequently beyond our understanding. But many times something wonderful God did in my life or in the life of someone I love started out with things that at the time I wished hadn’t happened and frankly complained about. We think we know best. But God knows best. Somehow, when we put our trust in Him, He has a way of working things out for us.

    Now, there are times when we are just SURE that things should work out a particular way and they don’t. And we even PRAYED that they would work out a certain way.

    I’m learning on that one. I believe that the answer comes down to the fact that we are to walk by faith and NOT by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And if we are depending on God answering all our prayers the way we expect Him to, then we’re walking by sight and not by faith. There are just times – including some very “hard times” that we must TRUST and OBEY our God. Knowing that ultimately He will make everything okay, if even in eternity.

    I am convinced that we are truly in the last days before the Rapture. I deeply believe in a “pre-wrath Rapture” due to passages such as 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (where Paul praises the Thessalonians for believing that Christ could come at any moment, meaning there is nothing – such as the Tribulation or some “mid-point” in that Tribulation – that must happen before He comes in the Rapture). But I realize that the “wrath” is the wrath that begins with the coming of Antichrist in Revelation chapter six. And not an economic collapse brought on by stupid socialist policies. Many of us Christians may go through some very hard times before Christ comes to rescue us from the ULTIMATE socialist dictator known as Antichrist at the Rapture (which I now call “the Great Bailout” because God will be bailing us out of a world that is choosing hell over heaven).

    I get very angry because I see all around me people who are choosing and even radically preferring what God said was evil and wicked and which would bring about His wrath and His curse upon the land. They have rejected God’s blessing in favor of Obama’s wicked curse. And they are implicitly saying, “Bring it ON, God! We don’t WANT Your blessing, give us Your worst CURSES instead.

    I bring this up in this context: God told us that these days would occur, these perilous times (2 Timothy 3:1). The Bible foretold that man would radically reject God in the last days, and that God would bring about a Great Tribulation and the world’s ultimate socialist dictator as a result of the wickedness of this terminal generation. And God told us that things would get very dark and very ugly.

    It is part of His plan. He will rescue His people first in the Rapture and ultimately in His Second Coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. But the key is that God TOLD us dark times were at hand.

    And in the same way, we have to trust God through the dark times that are at hand RIGHT NOW, before the Rapture and before the coming big-government tyrant whom Obama is a foreshadow.

    I keep having this sense that our time is short, and I want to make the most of the time I have on this world even as I get my heart and my attitude set on Christ.

    Yes, HL, I’ll pray for you as I pray for AR. And I ask you to pray for me. God lifts us all up the highest when we are lifting up “one another.”

    Michael

  9. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks for reblogging this, AKA John Galt

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    #AceNewsGroup,

    Appreciate your work reblogging articles like this. God bless you.

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    Thank you very much, Richard M Nixon (Deceased).

  12. Michael Eden Says:

    Gunny G,

    Thanks and God’s blessing for your reblogging work.

  13. #AceNewsGroup Says:

    Any Time :) Nice Article

  14. truthunites Says:

    “I get very angry because I see all around me people who are choosing and even radically preferring what God said was evil and wicked and which would bring about His wrath and His curse upon the land. They have rejected God’s blessing in favor of Obama’s wicked curse. And they are implicitly saying, “Bring it ON, God! We don’t WANT Your blessing, give us Your worst CURSES instead.

    Hi Michael,

    Terrific post. Trusting God when times are hard is a Refiner’s Fire. And I’m not very good at going through the Refiner’s Fire, either.

    But He’s good to me, even when I blow it.

    Anyways, with regards to the quoted paragraph above, I not only get angry, but I get utterly disgusted as well.

    Then I get angry and disgusted with myself for being so angry and disgusted with liberal Christ-haters.

    I sure hope you’re right about a pre-Trib rapture.

  15. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks for the good word.

  16. Michael Eden Says:

    truthunites,

    Allow me to speak to the words, “I sure hope you’re right about a pre-Trib rapture.”

    I think the one verse that absolutely clinches it for me is 1 Thess 1:9-10:

    For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

    The key observation is that the verb “to wait” here is present and active: they continually await the coming of the Lord, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

    The fact that Jesus “rescues us from the wrath to come” is ITSELF a powerful reason to believe in a pre-wrath Rapture. I mean, does Jesus rescue us from wrath or not here? And yes, He rescues us from the coming wrath of the Tribulation. BUT… St. Paul praises the Thessalonians for continually awaiting the Lord’s return to so rescue them.

    What this means is that there were no preconditions. If the Rapture happened at the end of the Tribulation, they wouldn’t have been immediately expecting the Rapture; they would have been anticipating first the Tribulation and THEN the Rapture. They weren’t doing that. They were looking for the IMMINENT return of Jesus, who would rescue them FROM the coming wrath.

    And of course the same argument applies equally well to the “Mid-Trib” Rapture. If the Tribulation has to begin first, there is NO REASON to wait for the Lord’s return. Because the Tribulation has to start first. Therefore you are waiting for the Tribulation to begin so you can START to look for the Lord’s return.

    Allow me to give an analogy from the recent Super Bowl. Suppose you’re not a guy who loves football, but a wife who loves the half-time show. She doesn’t give a fig about the game. But what has to happen for her half-time show? The Super Bowl has to START first. The half-time show won’t begin until after the first half is over. And her reference point for when she gets to see her half-time show is when the Super Bowl begins and as the second quarter ticks down.

    If the Post Tribulation or Mid Trib view is correct, the Rapture is NOT “imminent” in any way, shape or form. I’m waiting for the Tribulation to either end or I’m “waiting for half-time” in the sense of the Mid-Trib position. I would literally be able to look at my calendar and even my watch and know exactly when the Rapture would happen. And of course the Thessalonians would be wrong for waiting for Christ to come to rescue them from the wrath to come and even worse St. Paul would be wrong for commending them for doing it in Scripture.
    of kings in chapter 19. And another is the fact that throughout the Bible, God spares His saints from divine wrath such as during the flood with Noah and during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with Lot. When we see the Tribulation begin in Revelation six, we are told that the first seal of the Antichrist is a divine seal that Christ opens. Which means that the Antichrist
    There are a number of other points in addition to the imminence of the Rapture: one is the fact that the Rapture seems to happen in the sequence of Revelation in chapter four. For the first three chapters, it’s all about the Church. And all of a sudden we hear a voice that says “Come up here” and the Church appears to be in heaven. Where we remain until Jesus returns as King is part of the wrath of God rather than merely the wrath of man.

    So I truly believe in a pre-wrath Rapture.

    The thing I realize, though, is that the world’s economy could well catastrophically implode YEARS before the Antichrist and yes, years before the Rapture. And things could get VERY hard during these years which the world prepares to accept the Antichrist and the mark of the beast. That WOULD be the “wrath of man.” And we would go through it.

    That’s why I call the Rapture “the Great Bailout” now. I’m praying that God would bail His people out of the mess Obama has left the world in before Obama’s successor the beast comes to finish the big government takeover that Obama started.

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