“Trust me. It’s going to work out.”
Has anyone ever comforted you with that phrase? There have been many times people have told me this through the years. Sometimes it does work out, but there have been other times that it has not always gone great in the short-term, but I have always found that it does seem to work out in the long-run. God tells us over and over again that we can trust Him. We learn that God always has our very best interests in mind and that He loves us so much. God sees our whole story and never does anything bad to us in the short-term that does not end up being better for us in the long-run. It can be hard for us to see it at the time though because we only see a small part of our story. We don’t see how it ends.
When we surrender control of our lives and begin to seek God for simply who He is, He then shows us something so different from what we ever expected. I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my own life.
So why is it so hard to trust God when things bombard us all at once?
As I look back on my own life, I see that currently, my life is in a much different place than it was a decade ago. I actually have a relationship with Jesus, which I did not really have 10 years ago. I have a sense of inner peace that I never had before I stepped over the faith line and chose to trust God with my life. I’m not saying it is easy though. Bad things still happen to me. Life is not easy and when bad things come along, I still have a strong tendency to want to fix them for myself rather than leaning on God and trusting Him. I find myself having to remind myself daily to trust God, knowing that everything will be OK.
Do I get anxious and fearful? Absolutely. But I keep hearing those words, “Trust Me.”
It’s easy to focus on the cause of our anxiousness. Unanswered questions, financial uncertainty, and the effects of our decisions can weigh heavily on our minds. When we do this though, we miss completely God showing us who He really is.
This past week in my regular bible reading, I ran across the story found in 1 Kings 17. Here is the story:
1 Kings 17 (NIV)
Elijah Announces a Great Drought
17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
Elijah Fed by Ravens
2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
It tells the story of Elijah and his time in the wilderness. The Lord told Elijah to go to a remote location near the Jordan Rover and that the ravens would bring him food and that he could drink from this certain spot in the river. So Elijah did. He trusted what God had told him. The ravens continued to bring him food, over and over again. Then God did something really cool. He took Elijah to a widow in a nearby city and showed them both His provision by continuing to have flour in a canister and oil in the cup so that they could make bread and have fresh bread everyday. Again, God said “Trust me.”
So often I focus so much on the lack of oil in my own cup, in my own life that I miss out on what God wants to show me. What I have discovered is that it’s never about the oil. The oil is simply the means that God uses to show me who He is. In my own life, I’ve focused so much on the bad things that happen that I’ve missed God’s voice saying, “Trust me.” What I’ve learned is that when I’m obedient and trust God’s timing, power, and Word, He reveals to me what’s most important and works things for His glory.
Things may not end the way we want them to, but when we are seeking God, those things don’t seem quite as important. I’m pretty sure Elijah may have gotten tired of what the ravens brought him to eat each day, but God did provide. And Elijah was thankful.
We’ve all found ourselves in this trust situation. We need to learn to trust Him more, not just in our words, but in our actions, our thoughts, and with our lives. I know that I sure do. Don’t miss out on what God’s doing right now because you’re focusing so much on the things that are blinding you from seeing Him. Because seeing Him is about as good as it gets.