I don't know how to trust God. My screensaver bounces with the words, "Trust God, Trust God". I put that up months ago, hoping it would somehow seep into me, perhaps by spiritual osmosis. I think in some ways it has, but not really. It HAS. But it also hasn't. I mean, there's a long way to go.
It's silly to trust someone if you don't talk with the person. I want to pray, but then I think He knows everything already, and He knows what is happening with me. He knows my secret thoughts and motivations that I don't even understand and couldn't express to Him. Why do I have to pray? He already knows.
Then I hear C.S. Lewis, in the voice of a Narnian horse, "He likes to be asked." Well, really. He likes to be asked.
And I know He doesn't have to help me. I haven't done anything to be worthy of help. I believe He chose me and saved me and I am safely in His eternal care, and if He never did anything else for me, He has still done way more than I deserve. Why would He do more? He saved me from eternal torment, didn't he?
But He DOES help me. Even when I forget to pray, He still helps. I feel Him reminding me that I am His child, and He loves me, and will do for me, and when things are so hard, so hard, He is there and why don't I talk to Him?
I don't want Him to hear the angry things. Why do people have to deal with so much pain, why is there so much cruelty, and it goes on for so long? Why doesn't He just take us to Heaven right now? Why doesn't He get my life in line with my expectations? Always short something, always unsure what will happen next, always wondering. Why does He love such a self-absorbed me?
And I'm so silly. Does He really want me to pray about the worn carpet, or the disheveled flowerbeds, or the broken vacuum cleaner and lawn mower? How I feel alone in a room full of people, with my own family even, and how I hate and love our screens and devices that bring so much to us and take so much away? Or my feeling that I may dehydrate and shrivel up if I don't get my coffee obsession under control?
How embarrassing it is to need help. We're supposed to be self-sufficient, right? Well, I am not. My life overwhelms me. And he helps. He really does. Right now I could name at least ten providential mercies that have occurred in my life in the last six months, even when my prayers were apologetic struggles... Lord, sorry, but I'm not keeping it together. I need You AGAIN. I really want to keep it together so You can help the people being martyred for loving You, and the people perishing in floods and tornadoes, and the people dying with terminal diseases. And all the terrible stuff happening in Washington.
Oh goodness. I'm limiting God. Like He can't do it all. I know what it says in the Bible, and I believe it, but I don't really believe it. I know it is there, and obviously it is true, but I don't feel the truth of it.
You know what's funny? I do not think He can do all the work set out for him in the world, and yet I think I ought to be able to take care of every thing that passes in front of me, and I want to rally my troops to take care of every thing that passes in front of us because then God will have more time to deal with the important stuff, like martyrs and cancer victims.
But sometimes just mowing the lawn or getting started on schoolwork feels like an inhuman struggle to me, and I am so ashamed of that.
And you know, He doesn't fix everything. He leaves some things as-is for whatever reason. He could leave me and my life as-is, but so far He hasn't, even when I can't pray. He is merciful to me. And yet I worry and do not trust Him. Maybe He will decide not to be merciful next time. And what if He does? See the paragraph above regarding His eternal care. Or maybe my idea of mercy is not the same as His. Maybe His thoughts are not my thoughts. Let the unrighteous woman forsake her thoughts. Let her return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on her.
The key to this is to focus on Him and not on me. I am not sure how to do that. I am so self-centered. Who will teach me this focus, to keep turning myself back to Him when I realize (almost every moment of every day) that I am focused on me?
With all this failure, I know He still loves me and will love me forever. That is such a miracle. Why does He love me? He is a good God and loves His children, even though they don't deserve it. Can I accept something I don't feel I deserve? If I can't, then why not? Must be pride.
How does one practice simply trusting God and accepting His gifts? That nagging guilt, that ugly lie of Satan, "You should not have this. You have not worked for it." It needs to be silenced. Go away, devil! My God says I may have it, and therefore it is okay. It is a beautiful, sacred thing that He has given me because He loves me. Love isn't about work and earning things. It is mine, and He is mine, and you are a liar. I can relish His good gifts and and trust Him, and rest from guilt and shame. There is no condemnation. Have you read Romans 8? I am free from the law of sin and death.
Oh, that I could live in the Spirit! Lord God, give me that. That's what I want. Lord Jesus, I can put up with the lawn mower and the schoolwork, and the questions about good and evil, but teach me to live always in the Spirit!