“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
While King Belshazzar (in Daniel 5) and I have been weighed and found wanting, my God has been trusted and found faithful. My journey has revealed his faithfulness to me. And yet, his character precedes my discovery of his faithful and trusted attributes.
I have had to press into God, and I’ve fallen hard upon God. I’ve had to stand firm on a foundation not of my own building. I’ve been dependent, as if we haven’t always been dependent. I’ve had to press into and under his wings. I’ve not been able to trust myself, and so I’ve cried out to him to lead me and guide me. I’ve crumbled in his presence out of gratitude for his majesty and power.
I’ve worshipped him for his trustworthiness and faithfulness.
“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust…” Psalm 40:4
I am blessed.
As I harken back to that fateful morning following Kim’s death, I recall when I raised my hands and cried, “I trust you, I trust you, I trust you.” It was an aspirational proclamation. It was a desperate, albeit hopeful, response to loss. While my faith was shaken, I sought to trust him.
“…if we are faithless, he remains faithful…” 2 Timothy 2:13
He has been found faithful. This is my testimony.
“When a believer comes face to face with death, God is either enough or he is not.” Ronnie Fox, Beyond My Strength
Here’s my question: Why are we so reticent to trust him after all we’ve seen and all we’ve experienced from his hand? Why are we not more trusting? Why are we slow to trust? Why are we not absolutely convinced, especially during loss, of his faithfulness?
Here’s my answer: It’s okay. We’re broken people in a broken world. I’m not saying it’s good, I’m saying it is best to be honest and acknowledge our starting place. But he did not leave us there. He re-created us. We are broken, wounded, and shaken in our belief—especially in difficulties. We are vessels. Dishonorable and dirty vessels in need of cleansing.
“…if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21
We waver because we are broken. We are weak. We mistakenly focus on our own strength to trust. We look at that which is seen and not the unseen. We are consumed by sight and not by faith.
Again, we are weighed and found wanting. But he is trusted and found faithful.
We need to humble ourselves and present ourselves to be cleansed in order to be useful vessels. Trusting is difficult; it really is difficult. However, this says more about our brokenness than it says about God’s worthiness. If we struggle with our belief in his trustworthiness and faithfulness, we need to be cleansed and repaired. We need to lift our eyes off of our difficulties and off of ourselves. We need to relentlessly focus on him and his goodness. He is worthy of our trust. But, trusting is a journey and not a moment.
“Now don’t make the mistake of thinking that trust is something you decide once and for all as you are walking through pain…Life isn’t that simple. Grief is not that tame.” Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy
Regardless of whether we muster up the trust and persist, he is faithful. As I have faced loss, I have found him faithful as I trust him.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23