I went to bed sad last night. Sadder than I’ve been in a long time.
That is saying something because there has been an awful lot of “sad” going around lately. It was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt helpless. Like no matter how I (we) pray, no matter what steps of faith I (we) take, it seems like all I (we) see is more evidence of “killing, stealing, and destroying.”
It is disheartening to say the least. But I’ve also been around the block with Jesus enough times to know that what I see never tells the whole story. The last couple of years, especially, have taught me that I don’t have the luxury of allowing what I “see” to pull me into a pit of despair. That’s what the enemy wants and I refuse to give him the satisfaction. However, choosing to trust in the midst of a multitude of losses and setbacks does NOT come easily or naturally.
Although trust is not easy, it has been my experience that hopelessness is a MUCH heavier burden to bear. So in my own weak and weary way, I continue to choose trust. Last night that meant having a good cry, confessing my convoluted feelings to Jesus, and praying for His perspective. When I woke up this morning nothing was different in the world, but I had just enough faith to know that if I took some time with Him, He would speak to me. He did. I’ll share that another time, but today, I felt it was more important to simply say this:
Trust is a choice. Perseverance is a choice. Being strong and courageous is a choice.
It doesn’t have to look pretty. It doesn’t have to feel spiritual. It doesn’t have to be loud or strong or filled with triumph…
It just needs to be exercised as an act of the will.
It doesn’t matter if your faith is weary or broken or small…it only takes a mustard seed of faith to choose trust. We exercise faith because we know God is. We know who He is. We know what He has said. We know He never changes despite what we see or feel.
I’ve camped out in the story of Gideon a lot over the past month or two. When the Angel of the Lord came to Gideon in Judges 6, things had been bad for Israel for a long time. But it was clear heaven viewed Gideon and his circumstances quite differently than Gideon saw things:
“Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
Gideon responded about like I did last night:
“If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
Thankfully, God wasn’t the least bit put off by Gideon’s response. The Lord knew who He had created Gideon to be. He knew what He had created him to do. He also knew that because of the circumstances, Gideon didn’t have a ton of faith or strength at that point.
God wasn’t remotely hindered by Gideon’s weakness, BUT he did require Gideon to exercise the little faith he DID have:
“Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
Go with the strength you have. Jesus never asks us to do what we cannot do. He meets us where we are. But when we CHOOSE to go in the strength we DO have …
He supplies what we lack.
You’re not imagining a thing—it has been hard. It has been intense. The enemy IS “prowling about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” But discouragement and fear wasn’t the end of Gideon’s story, and it won’t be the end of ours …
If we choose trust.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5 NIV