The song “Trust in you” by Lauren Daigle is really one of my favorite songs, ever. I can listen to it over and over again. The words resonate with me so much … especially the chorus that says:
When You (God) don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You,
And trusting is HARD.
It can be painful too.
Sometimes we pray so hard and believe God for so much and then when our prayers aren’t answered in the way we had hoped or believed they would be we are left to wonder why.
A while back I asked (begged) God to move a mountain for one of my children. I asked friends and family to pray with me for the mountain to move. I even drove to where my child was and drove through the streets where she would be walking, praying for her and for the decisions that would be made there.
But the mountain didn’t move.
It hurt me like crazy. It hurt me for her. And as much as she said she was ok, I could hear the disappointment in her voice. There were times it hurt so much that I thought I couldn’t breathe. I cried heavy, sorrowful tears and silent, slide down my face tears. I literally felt like my heart was breaking.
I really didn’t want to see anyone … in fact I avoided people, because I knew I would cry if I tried to speak. One night I had a speaking engagement at a large church. The paperwork they sent me asked me to give a “funny and encouraging” talk. I sat in my car watching the smiling women walk into the event and texted a friend and asked “how do I do this when I feel sad and discouraged?”. I’m not sure what she said exactly but, by God’s grace, the women (including myself) laughed that night, a lot.
I began to think that perhaps God cared about the big things in our lives but not as much about the smaller things. And what I was asking Him for wasn’t to cure a sickness or save a marriage. In the scheme of things it wasn’t huge … but it was important to me. It was a dream I had for my child that I was being forced to let go.
After some time and thought and prayer I decided maybe God did care about the little things so I asked Him if He had maybe looked away, somehow forgotten how much I wanted this to work out for my child. I wondered if maybe He didn’t realize how important this was to me. I felt a little bit like Mary when she questioned Jesus after her brother Lazarus died. Her words seemed like they were my words … “Where were you Jesus?! This wouldn’t have happened if you had been here.”
I wanted to know where He had been when I was crying out to Him to move the mountain.
Well meaning friends said things to me like “God has something better” or “God has a plan” and, quite honestly, it was all I could do not to roll my eyes when they said these things. I wanted to say to them “you don’t get it” and “there isn’t always a plan because bad things happen. This is a messed up world and we have to deal with it”. But instead I just nodded my head while silently disputing their words.
I questioned God over and over.
It wasn’t lost on me that during this time I was speaking at an event where the theme verse was Romans 15:13. It says:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Joy and peace. I was going to be telling women about joy and peace and the whole time I was preparing I was struggling with joy and peace.
One of the things God reminded me while preparing for that talk is that “Jesus wept” (when he heard his friend Lazarus had died). We all know it as the shortest verse in the Bible … but it struck me in a way it had never struck me before. Jesus’ heart breaks too. Isaiah called Him “”Man of sorrows” … and it was then that I felt like God whispered to my heart … “Darla, I’m sad too. It hurts me seeing you sad.”
It was the only thing that made sense after weeks, maybe months of my heart aching. It was comforting. For the first time I felt like maybe He really did understand, maybe He didn’t look away and that perhaps He wanted to wrap His arms around me and tell me His heart was broken for my child too.
Do I believe He could have changed it?
Do I understand why He didn’t?
At least not now.
I had friends who passed along encouragement … one friend literally said “I’m coming over to cry with you”. I’ll never forget that kindness she showed and I want to remember that too. Sometimes the best thing you can do with a broken hearted friend is just to cry with them. Another friend had me in (much needed) stitches as she basically offered to go on a crime spree with me. She was joking, of course, and I laughed … and I was so grateful to know she had my back.
And here’s the truth of it all. I was never mad at God. I really wasn’t. But I was disappointed and I didn’t understand.
I still don’t.
I decided my word for 2016 was going to be trust. Trusting really seemed like the only option because to not trust meant to not believe everything I had ever said I believed was true.
And then I remembered that verse again. Romans 15:13. It says we will be filled with joy and peace AS WE TRUST IN HIM. That’s the only way we can make sense of anything. That is THE only way to be filled with peace and joy. Trusting Him with what is and what isn’t. Trusting that He can and He will work all things together for good. Trusting that He can help put back the pieces of my broken heart. Trusting Him with our lives and the lives of our children.
So trust it is.
There probably hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t thought about what happened at some point. It still hurts. I still wish I could change it. I see reminders and hear about it (what feels like daily) in conversations with friends.
And during every one of those times I have to say in my heart … “still I will trust in you.”
John Piper says … “Weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God and embrace the life you have.”
I’m going to trust. And embrace.
It really is sweet to trust in Jesus.
Oh for grace to trust Him more.