Let’s face it: Life can get messy. And we all respond differently when problems arise in life or when we are in the middle of a mess. Maybe you create a to-do list of things you can work on to try and fix the situation on your own. Maybe you reach out to your best friend and tell her the sob story all the while hoping that she has the solution. Sometimes you might be tempted to act like nothing’s wrong and avoid addressing the mess, hoping that it will magically disappear or resolve itself on its own. Other times you may turn to God and trust Him to handle your problem.
There will be ups and downs along the way. Life can be going smoothly for a season and then suddenly life throws you a curveball. Isn’t that what happened to the whole entire world last year with the pandemic? Most people were going about life as usual and then the world shut down. The things we all felt secure in, all of a sudden felt shaky and uncertain. I know for me, in the first few weeks of the pandemic, I played the wait and see game and just told myself that this will be over shortly. As the year went on and things didn’t go back to “normal,” I started talking with friends about how they were dealing with being in the middle of the mess. We asked ourselves questions like “how can we trust God in this circumstance even when we cannot see a resolution?” or “how can we trust Him when we do not understand what is happening?”
As I had more and more of those conversations, I began to realize that trusting God is more than a feeling; it’s a choice to have faith in what He says even when the circumstances around me would have me believing something different. Trusting God is not about ignoring the reality of the problem or my feelings about the mess. God doesn’t ask us to pretend everything is okay when it isn’t.
Instead, God tells us that in the midst of our problems we are to:
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes”
Psalm 37:3-7 NLT
What I love about this piece of Scripture is that God clearly outlines our respective responsibilities when we face problems. Our responsibility when we face problems is to trust God by:
- Doing good;
- Delighting in His wonder;
- Committing our work to Him; and
- Waiting patiently and without worry.
I don’t know about you, but that last part usually trips me up. I am always willing to ask myself how I can make someone’s day even when my day (or week for that matter) might not be going well. I can discover delight simply by looking out at the night sky, or at a flower growing in the garden, or another person’s smile and just wonder at all that God created. I can commit to doing my best and getting things done even during the hard times in my life, but waiting patiently and without worry, now that’s another story.
Even though I have heard it thousands of times, “we are human beings, not human doings,” I still wrestle with the “be” part. How about you? Which of these responsibilities do you struggle with when you are in the middle of a messy situation?
What I am learning is that God has commanded us to do these things not perfectly, but rather in partnership with Him. And that is what trust is all about. It’s about walking in partnership with Him, knowing that I don’t have to do it all on my own. Then I don’t have to worry, knowing that He is with me each step of the way.
Psalm 37:3-7, tells us that when we trust the Lord by doing good, delighting in Him, committing our work to Him and waiting patiently and without worry, He promises to act on our behalf. When we do that, God promises to keep us safe, to prosper us, to give us our heart’s desires, to see that justice is done and that we will shine.
So no matter the problem you are facing today, I pray that you hold tight to this Scripture and remember God isn’t just interested in some parts of your life, but rather every part of your life—the good, the problematic and the messy! He is trustworthy and always keeps His promises. So bring it all to Him and may you be still in His presence and know that you are not alone!