So 2017 begins...I've recently had the absolute privilege of taking a 4 month sabbatical from my day job to finish off my album, travel and work on more music. It's been such a rich season for me and one in which God has been speaking to me over and over again about trust. Learning not to just say, "yep, I trust you God", but to actually, truly, deeeeeeep down trust Him. To put my words into action. Where my natural tendencies want to understand everything before it happens, to figure things out, where I often indignantly feel like I have a right to know what's ahead, and get frustrated when I don't, this has been such a season of God whispering to me over and over again "just trust me. Trust my timing. Trust that my plans for you are good. Don't be afraid."
I'm learning that the key to trust is having my belief about who God is absolutely cemented in my heart and mind. I'm learning that trust doesn't just fall in my lap, it's something that I have to set my mind on to believe, meditate on and receive. Trust is ultimately a choice rooted in my belief system. And that belief system is constantly being shaped by life's events and what I choose to make my focus. As I've set about choosing to trust God more, one of the keys for me has been meditating on the bible, letting God's nature be revealed more and more to me and asking Him to transform me and renew my mind (Romans 12:2). I've got into a practice of sitting with the bible and one verse at a time stopping and pausing to actually let it soak in rather than just treating it as a daily routine/reading exercise. Some days, when time has been short, I've only read one or two verses but the practice of really meditating on them, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about them, has brought me so much more than my old pattern of just ploughing through vast swathes of text, only really skimming their meaning and significance.
As I was doing this one day, I read Hebrews 13:5, a passage I've read so many times before, but this time it literally felt like the words jumped out and grabbed me...
…for He Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not! (AMP)
The three "I will nots" echoed around my head, the different expressions of God's faithfulness (not failing, not leaving, not forsaking, not letting us out of His hold) made me stop in my tracks and my thoughts turned to a God who wants us to be SO convinced of His ability to love us, support us and be with us. The very same week, chatting with a friend, he told me that in the bible there is a ‘do not fear’ for every single day. Divine set up if ever I saw one! Again, my thoughts turned to the compassion of God in this trust journey. He knows that we’ll need a 'don't be scared' each and every morning because the temptation to fear is REAL. But His faithfulness is MORE REAL. I see the 365 'do not fears' as a way of God mercifully saying, I want you to trust me, but I'll still offer you countless reminders of how much I can be trusted. Simple everyday reminders that it is going to be well, it is ok, I've got you.
What I'm learning is that yes, God is 100% trustworthy, but actually trusting in Him doesn't happen by magic. It's an everyday exercise of my will. Choosing to trust sometimes looks like actively turning away from fear, holding my treasured things with open hands and not clenched fists, setting my mind to focus on the good, taking a risk when I just want to run, believing that I literally cannot 'mess up' to a greater degree than He is able to fix me up.
God is emphatic in telling us He can be trusted. The invitation for us is to be equally emphatic in our response to Him.
So today, and every day, let our prayer be “I will, I will, I will trust YOU!”