I am wrestling with the difficulty of believing God.
I suppose it would be more accurate and honest to admit that really I am wrestling with why I don’t believe God much of the time.
This struggle to believe manifests itself in different ways at various times and seasons in my life, but currently I am noticing it in two particular ways.
One struggle I have is in believing that God truly loves my children.
When I say it like that, it seems ludicrous. We are talking, after all, about the same God who gave up His only Son so that my children could be with Him forever.
Yet I worry about my babies. I worry about their safety, about whether they will survive to adulthood (although sometimes I think that it might be me who causes them not to survive), about whether they will suffer some horrible trauma along the way. I worry about whether they will learn to love God most of all and whether they will love people. I worry about my children…which means that I am not believing God.
God has promised that He loves my children even more than I do. He has promised that He will do what is best for them and that He will give them what they need. But I still worry. Why?
Part of the trouble is that I don’t trust in what God’s best is. I know that sometimes His best is painful and even when I can trust in that for myself, I often want to protect them. It is truly ridiculous that I would want to protect my children from God, but there it is. Deep down inside, I sometimes believe that I know better than God, that my goals for my children are more important than God’s goals for them.
I don’t know why I wrestle with this. When I state it so plainly, even I can see the foolishness of it. It should be easy to believe. Yet it is not.
The other struggle I currently have is in believing that God’s Spirit will truly guide me through life. I have trouble believing that God is interested in all areas of life. Can I really trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in my parenting? Can I really trust the Holy Spirit to show me the best way to train, disciple, even educate my children? Does God’s Spirit care about a business, a household, a career?
I don’t believe it and so I want to rely on books, on methods, on other people to tell me how to raise and teach my babies. Yet if Jesus is before all things, if all things hold together in Him, and if Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to us to guide us and teach us Jesus’ truth, then He truly is interested in showing me how best to live my life. All aspects of it.
Why is that so difficult to believe, so hard to rely on? It seems like it should be simple. God has never broken a promise; He has proved over and over that His way and His love is best, that His Spirit is faithful to show us truth. I am foolish to doubt the faithfulness of such a God.
Yet I do. I am like the Israelites who refused to believe that God would provide enough manna on the sixth day to provide for the seventh or that He would provide enough harvest bounty in the sixth year to provide for the seventh year of Jubilee. I doubt and I worry. Yet even through the doubt and worry I still keep plodding forward, step by painful step, begging for God to help me trust Him, desperate for more of His Spirit.
I trust that He will. “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Art Credit: The Golden Calf by Esteban March