“But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1:12
How do I do this new life? How do I keep going when my soul misses the one it loves? How do I praise God when the cost is so very high? How do I trust the one who gave and took away?
I look outside and see the first glimmers of daylight. Then the answer dawns on me. We can trust even when it hurts. We can trust even when it costs so much because we have a Lord who gave himself for us. We can trust God because it cost him everything. It cost him his son. It caused him separation from his son while his son hung on the cross for the sins of mankind. Our sins. He had to watch his son live a life of poverty and suffering, and then he watched his son die. So can we trust this God? This God who would take away the one person in this world we loved the most? The answer is yes. Yes, absolutely. Yes, completely. Yes, infinitely. Why? Because he first loved us. Before he took, he gave. We know the taking is temporary, but the giving is eternal. For this, we can always trust him, and for this, we can always praise him. Even when it hurts, even when we don’t know why, even when life is not what we wanted.
We can trust Him because he knows infinitely more than we know. Have you ever looked back on a circumstance or situation years later and realized why God did or allowed something in your life? We may never have all the answers, but he does give us these glimmers of knowledge – an occasional ability to see what he did in our past, so we can trust him with our future. If you don’t journal, start. It can give us an amazing ability to trust God in uncertain times when we can look back on our journals and see how God has provided and been faithful in the past. It also often allows us to see gifts he’s given us that we had prayed for but maybe forgotten to thank him for. It helps us see how he’s answered our prayers. When the Israelites had crossed the Jordan, Joshua had them gather rocks to leave as a memorial. When their children asked what the rocks meant, they were to tell them the story of how God had miraculously provided for them as they entered the promised land and crossed the Jordan on dry ground. Leave a legacy for yourself and your children. Talk often about how God has provided in the past, so you children can know that even in difficult, uncertain times, God can always be trusted.
In her book The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp suggests that perhaps we can be closer to the heart of Christ when we are broken because he himself gave himself to us broken. Maybe we can understand the heart of God a tiny bit more because our own heart has broken. Maybe when our own heart has shattered, God can glue it back together with his own love. No, it will never be the same. It will never quite be whole again this side of heaven. It’ll never be as full again, but maybe this hurting heart of ours will bring us a little closer to the heart of our Lord – a heart that wept over Jerusalem, a heart that wept when he saw the pain that death brings, a heart that was heavy with the loss of the one who prepared the way for him, a heart that sweat drops of blood knowing what he would willingly endure for us. Perhaps it takes a certain level of brokenness for us to draw near to his heart. Maybe it takes our bleeding heart to fully allow ourselves to fall into his waiting arms.
Sweet friend, we can trust the God we’ve trusted with our eternal salvation with this. If we can trust him for eternity, we can trust him for now. For the wreck that is our lives, for the suffering we see our children going through, for the mess of our heart….we can trust him now and forevermore. One day, we will feel his arms around us, and he will make our hearts whole again. Until then, we can absolutely trust him.
“The Lord’s timing is absolutely perfect. He can definitely be trusted.” Trevor Morris