All of the chapters in Lee’s book have touched me in some way, but chapter 15 really gave me pause to think. In this chapter, Lee wrestles with the question of trusting and of vulnerable faith.
As children, we probably all heard the expression “because I said so.” As adults, we may have even said it to our own children. Basically, it means don’t question me… just do it or just accept what I say. Lee poses the question in her writing if that is what God wants from us. Does He want us to simply swallow the Bible and obey it because He says so or can He handle our doubts, our questions, our pain, our ignorance, our yearnings? Our faith in God asks us to be vulnerable and to be willing to trust Him with our lives even when its hard. Lee tells the story of Stacy who she sees as an example of that kind of faith… one that is vulnerable but all trusting.
Stacy battled cancer and beat it. She has faced other challenges, such as a divorce and living life as a single mother and is finally settling into her new norm when cancer rears its ugly head once again. Telling her children is one of the hardest things she has to do, and she promises them that she will be okay. In her heart, Stacy knows that God doesn’t punish his children, but in her anger, she lashes out and questions why she is feeling punished. “Why me Lord … why me again????”
She wavers in her hope. She questions whether her faith is in the medicine filling her body or in the Lord who fills her soul. It’s a scary place for her. She believes…And she doesn’t. She is human, and she is terrified. She relies on the promise that she made to her daughter that she would not leave her… all the while praying that God will help her keep that promise. As she wrestles with God, she tells herself that she will not be defined by this disease. Stacy is filled with questions, but she still trusts.
Having faith does not mean our life will be easy. Having faith does not mean we will not have questions or that our trust will not waver. Having faith can be messy and chaotic but it is in those times that real growth occurs… when we don’t accept it just “because He says so.”
1. What does it mean to you to trust God? Describe how you demonstrate your trust in Him in practical ways.
Trusting God is not always easy for me. As I have said, I like being in control and trust involves loosening that hold I have on everything. It means that I turn the reins over to someone else and I am not always willing to do that. Developing trust is definitely a work in progress in my life.
2. What situation in your life right now is testing your confidence in God’s goodness or love for you? What factors or circumstances cause you to question Him or make it hard for you to trust Him?
The past few years have been a test of my faith and my trust. In 2011, we moved out of a home that we had rented for 7 years. I had lost my job and we just could not keep up with the rent. We loved the house and it saddened us to have to leave. Thus began a roller coaster ride of living with friends and of rentals and evictions. We did find an apartment last August that we are currently living in. It is very small but we are managing to make it work. I find myself being angry at God that things are not easier for us. But in the grand scheme of things, we are blessed to have a roof over our heads and food on our table.
3. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” How might your own understanding of God or life get in the way of the good He wants to accomplish in and through you? How might the tension between what you believe and what you don’t understand help draw you closer to God?
I am reminded of a poem by Corrie Ten Boom that was given to me when I was going through a very difficult time. Corrie dealt with much more horrific things in her life than I will ever have to face and this poem is such a beautiful testament to trust and to faith:
“My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him.”