When Trust is Hard
This past week our staff team spent a week on retreat before we enter into a new (and very busy) season for our ministry. We stayed at a beautiful ‘log-cabin’ style house in the middle of a forest, complete with 15 acres of land and a pond right outside the back door. It was idyllic: so peaceful, serene and refreshing. And for the first time in what felt like forever I was able to be completely still and listen to what God was saying.
And He spoke so clearly: “trust Me.”
Short. Simple. Beautiful… but why is it so difficult at times?
Why is it that it’s so easy to trust God for some things in life but not for others? And why do we feel the need to hide our lack of trust from Him? He knows and He sees and His response is simple: “just tell me that you don’t trust me… I’m big enough to handle it”. When I don’t trust Him, I can tell Him: “I don’t trust you God, but I want to”. When I think about the women we reach out to each week, it’s often hard to trust that we’re even making a difference. It’s hard to trust that God is at work. And it’s hard to trust that He is using our small efforts for big things: but He is! There are no words to describe what it feels like to look these precious women in the eye, knowing how hard their lives are, and then to walk away after only a few minutes of conversation. I don’t want to be so prideful as to think I know better than God does. Instead of screaming: “why is this happening to them?” I am reminded to seek Him, to ask where He is in the midst of the struggle and the darkness; to trust that He knows best and that He has a plan for these women that is so much better than the lives they are living now.
The more I thought it over, the more I realised that it’s not just a phrase: it’s a command: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” [Proverbs 3:5] And with this command comes a choice: I either choose to trust Him, or I don’t. I either trust Him with my whole heart, or I don’t. I either choose to trust Him with my life and my future, or I don’t. And what about the lives and futures of the women we meet on the streets every week? Do I trust that He has a plan for their lives? Do I trust that there is a way out for them? Do I trust that He is using our team? Do I trust
that through our simple obedience in handing out gift bags with the message that they are loved and they matter, He is doing more than we know or can see? I have a choice to make… and I want to choose trust.
Trusting God means trusting in His beautifully perfect timing; it means trusting that He has a plan for me and He also has a plan for each of the women we encounter on the streets. It means trusting that we are not called to rescue these women: that’s His job. It means trusting that He will do more than we know or can see through each of the encounters we have on the streets, however brief they may seem. And it means trusting that each of these women will one day be rescued from the streets. Because trust breeds hope, and hope is a beautiful thing. Hope believes for the impossible - knowing that with God, nothing truly is. Hope stirs our soul and calls us towards God. Hope calls us out from where we are into all that God has for us. What if the women we encounter could grasp what trust really looks like and could learn to hold onto the hope that comes from Jesus? What if hope stirred in their souls and called them out towards God?
I’m challenged to choose trust, and to hope for amazing things for these precious women and their futures.