She looked up at me with big, blue, scared eyes. She knew who I was, but since she saw me last she had seen chaos in a whole new way. She had the tired look that I knew so well, but there was a new look this time: a questioning, wanting look that silently asked if she could trust me. Could she trust me to protect and love her and help bring calm back into her life? Could she let down her guard long enough to find a bit of solace in her anxious heart? As I sang to her, I prayed that she would always know that with me, she was safe. I prayed to God that He would bring a sense of calm and security to her in a way that transcends hurt and chaos. As I rocked this sweet baby girl in my arms, I knew that I would pray these prayers even more throughout her life.
This was not the first time I saw this look – a look of distrust, questioning, and pleading hope. I’ve seen it in many other faces throughout the years. I’ve seen it in countless children as they entered my classroom – tired and hopeless, angry and almost forgotten. I’ve seen it in parents’ faces as well – as they try to decipher if I can really be trusted with their child. I’ve seen it with friends who are hurt and distrusting and want justice and hope. I’ve seen it in church – with hurt and pain as leaders fail and trusting authority seems like a foreign thing of the past. I’ve seen it in my husband – who fights hard to overcome and learn and grow beyond the deep, deep hurt that he’s experienced in his life. This look of longing to trust is on innumerable faces that we encounter every day.
And as I take a deeper look at myself, I see that look of distrust and hope in my face as well. Trust is always something that I’ve grappled with – something that always seems like a far off wish or hope. Sure – it’s something that I dutifully say that I do. I’ve known Proverbs 3:5-6 since my childhood. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” I know this.
But as I’m minding the gap – and being honest – at my core I am struggling to trust Him. I know with my mind that I cannot lean on my own understanding and that He alone is worthy of my trust. I know that He is trustworthy – but I struggle to actually trust Him with all that I am. My brain and heart know it, but the day to day life that I live makes it hard for me.
Especially now – when my world is hard and heartbreaking… when I am in a midst of a storm and I don’t know where He is or why He is not stepping in. I know He is trustworthy – I’ve memorized the scripture – so why do I still have that look of questioning as I look up to Him? I know that in ONE SECOND, He could make it all new, but He doesn’t. I am wanting and waiting for what seems like forever.
I tell myself to just trust and obey Him. You know – like the old hymn sweetly sings? I set out to do my Christian duty and just barrel through and trust Him. But again – I feel l empty, questioning, and jaded. Why, when I know He can fix it – does He choose to say no for now? People tell me there’s a plan and He will work it out for His good. And I know that to be true as well (not because they tell me – but because God promises me this in Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28).
But I still look up at Him and ask him, “Can I trust you?”
To which He gently replies, amidst all my questions and looks and worries, “Yes, sweet child, you can trust me.”
Are you in a period of time in your life where you are struggling to trust? Have you ultimately handed over your life to Christ and acknowledge with your mouth and heart that He is Lord but struggle to trust Him in your day to day? I want to remind you today (as I remind myself) – that God is totally and undeniably trustworthy. He will look back at you as you look to Him with scared eyes and gently sing back to your soul of how trustworthy He really is.
I know this isn’t easy to remember sometimes. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
I just finished the book Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst where she talks about this a little more. In the book, she writes out a prayer that I have said many times as I struggle to trust and hope. I hope you can find hope in these words as I have:
“I finally understand I don’t have to fully understand each thing that happens for me to trust You. I don’t have to try and figure it out, control it, or even like it, for that matter. In the midst of uncertainties, I will just stand and say, ‘I trust you, Lord.’
You are the perfect match for my every need.
I am weak. You are strength.
I am unable. You are capability.
I am hesitant. You are assurance.
I am desperate. You are fulfillment.
I am confused. You are confidence.
I am tired. You are rejuvenation.
Though the long path is uncertain, You are so faithful to shed just enough light for me to see the very next step. I now understand this isn’t You being mysterious. This is a great demonstration of Your mercy.
Too much revelation and I’d pridefully run ahead of You. Too little and I’d be paralyzed with fear.
So, I’m seeking slivers of light in Your Truth just for today and filling in the gaps of my unknown with trust.”
Amen. May it be so today.
Crystal Bobier is a Christ follower and missional teacher of Communications and Leadership Development to three hundred boisterous six graders in Waukee. She and her husband, Ben, love living in a great little community of Adel, IA, outside of Des Moines. She loves cheering on the Cyclones, counting her many blessings, the Iowa State Fair, Minnie Mouse, traveling, farm life, her big family, and all things Disney