As I write this post, I am in the middle of a difficult process. I'm learning and walking through what it looks like to truly trust God. Not for show but for real. Did you know that truly trusting God means we have to stop trying to figure everything out? It’s about knowing that God will come through so there's no need for a backup plan. It's also about relieving the pressure to have everything planned out. If you’re like me, your mind gets so far in the future that you also start to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet.
I think we sometimes struggle with our own agenda about what we want to happen in our lives but then pray for God's will to be done. For me, I may pray but I am low key hoping for God’s will to align with the plans I have already made. God has been dealing with me about the danger of what I will call “cover-up prayers.” What are those? It's those prayers where we are really just trying to “will” God into doing what we want. Is this you?
The root of it all is that we are trying to “figure God out.” I've admitted this before but I’m the type of person that “needs to know” where I’m headed...so not knowing where I'm going to end up requires all the faith and patience I have lol. Maybe this is you too? But that’s where it is easy to get frustrated. Why? Because there will always be things we won’t know. Always. Always. Always. There will always be things that we don't see coming. Sounds scary but the one thing that can keep us grounded is TRULY believing God is in control.
Here’s something that I felt God tell me and I hope it helps you—“You’re frustrated because you’re trying to figure me out. You’re trying to figure out what I’m going to do. But remember that I don't move like you move. It’s why your faith keeps moving up and down. The only way for you to stay level is to trust that I know what I am doing. You’re trying to figure me out and You can’t. And you won’t. That's why you need faith. The essence of faith is coming to the end of yourself where you know that you only know so much.”
That word hit me straight in the gut because that’s exactly what I needed to hear. Truth is sis, we can ask questions upon questions upon questions our entire lives and end up nowhere! Why? Because it all boils down to us knowing so little and wanting answers. But we will never have all the answers. We’ll run ourselves down to the ground trying to know everything. And this is the crossroads where people either walk away from God or lean in closer. At some point, we will get tired of questioning God and how life works. And at that moment, we decide to either have faith in a God who claims to have all of the answers or we decide that He isn’t enough. But regardless, it all boils down to trusting God or not.
This is a lot to process but here’s a mental picture that someone painted for me. And it helps us to see why it’s impossible for us to figure God out. If your life is a puzzle--God has a birds-eye view so he can see the WHOLE thing. But we can't see it all so we may not understand the events or experiences in our lives and how it will all come together. We may even question why we were given the life we have.
Honestly, I can’t explain exactly why certain things have happened in your life. But God can. He can see how the pieces will fit together. We don't have the same view. It's why we have those “light bulb moments’ where things start to make sense and we begin to understand WHY certain things had to happen the way that they did.
Remember this quote, “In our desire to understand him, we have attempted to contain him. The God of the Bible cannot be contained.”
By now, you probably know I am a quote lover. So here’s another quote that stuck with me--“Trusting Him leads to deep soul rest. Deep, deep soul rest. I can let go of the need to understand, for only He sees it all. I don’t need to understand everything. I just need to trust Him. He is God, and I am not.” (https://renee-robinson.com/when-we-stop-trying-to-figure-god-out/)
We now know that God is not like us but what happens when we think we’ve figured God out? My mind goes to the story of Abraham and Sarah. I feel like Sarah often gets a bad rap but in reality, we can be Sarah and Sarah can be us.
A summary of Sarah's story (Resource: https://blessedisshe.net/devotions/stop-trying-to-figure-god-out/)
“Even though she wanted to believe her promise from God, Sarah struggled and wrestled with how she could have a whole baby at 90 years old. So in her moment of doubt/lack of faith, she came up with a plan that would absolutely make what God said happen. Basically, she was trying to “help God out.” Sarah told Abraham to have a baby with Hagar, her servant. Sarah tried to fix an unfixable situation on her own, but in the end, it backfired.
In our broken humanity, it can be easier to think of a way to make things work out instead of trusting God’s plan and purpose. Yes, it is scary to trust God, especially when we do not understand what He is doing or why something is allowed to happen in our life. I am sure Sarah felt this way too. Sarah reminds us that whenever we get entangled in the mysterious plan of God, it never works out.”
Listen, Sarah had a moment where she thought she figured God out. She called herself helping God out. I found myself judging Sarah for what she did but the thing is....we KNOW how the story ends...but Sarah did not. Reading the Bible with this perspective keeps me humble and helps me to avoid reading it like a fairytale. These were real people living life like you and me. They didn’t know how their story would end, just like us. Sarah was a real woman who desperately wanted a baby. She was 90 years old, NOT 30 years old. But nine decades. Biology doesn't lie lol. I can’t help but wonder where my faith would be at that point and after waiting THAT LONG. She didn’t get it right but we don’t always get it right. We can learn from Sarah. I believe that a lesson from her story is that it is much better to wait on God than wish we had. God had a plan all along. Even though so much time passed.
Sis, this is your reminder that God has a plan for you. No matter how much time has passed, he did not throw his plan for you away. We can’t know for sure what God is really up to so it’s impossible to figure him out. Believe me, I’m speaking to myself all the way. God is saying to us, “I know what I am doing if you could just trust me.”
So just trust Him.
That’s such a heavy statement but we really have to take it day by day. If you have to, hour by hour. Or maybe even minute by minute. Do what you have to do.
P.s. Here are a few Scriptures to remind us of how God works:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Who could ever wrap their minds around the riches of God, the depth of his wisdom, and the marvel of his perfect knowledge? Who could ever explain the wonder of his decisions[x] or search out the mysterious way he carries out his plans? For who has discovered how the Lord thinks or is wise enough to be the one to advise him in his plans? Or: “Who has ever first given something to God that obligates God to owe him something in return?”And because God is the source and sustainer of everything, everything finds fulfillment in him.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope
“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD!