Corona Blog --9: Choosing To Trust
Something shifted for me the other day.
I have long found it hard to believe, to really deep-down believe, that God is for me, not somehow against me, making life difficult for me, needing me to tick boxes to please Him. Gradually, in fits and starts, that is changing.
The Old Testament tells of the Israelites, a people chosen by God. God led them to Egypt to rescue them from a famine, and then many years later, they were oppressed and enslaved there. They cried out to God and He rescued them. Appointing Moses to lead them, He performed many astonishing miracles to show His power and persuade Pharaoh to let them go. When the Egyptians pursued them, He caused the Red Sea to part so they could walk through on dry land, a wall of water on either side, and then He caused it to flow back again, drowning the whole Egyptian army who had kept them captive for so many years.
The key moment is when the Israelites, having seen God moving in such power to rescue them, ‘put their trust in Him and in His servant Moses.’ (Exodus 14:31)
They travel three days in the desert. When they ask for water, God makes bitter water drinkable. Travelling on, they accuse God and Moses of bringing them into the desert to starve them all to death. God promises them meat and bread, sends a whole flock of quail over the camp, and then, every day for forty years, gives them manna, a divine bread-like food. He tells them not to store it overnight but they do, and it gets maggots. He provides for their Sabbath-rest by giving them more food the day before, telling them to store it overnight and it does not get maggots.
Again the Israelites travel. Again they find no water. Again they accuse God and Moses of bringing them out to die. Again God provides water.
On each occasion, the Israelites are described as ‘grumbling’ against God and Moses. Their requests are not unreasonable – they need water, they need food. The point is that, on each occasion, they start from the assumption that God is against them, that they are in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people: that He has not provided for them. Despite all His provision and care and constant presence, they still don’t trust Him. They never give Him the benefit of the doubt, never start from the assumption that He is for them.
God’s deep desire is for His people to trust Him, to know Him (Exodus 29:46). Throughout the Old Testament runs the refrain, ‘They shall be My people and I shall be their God.’ (Lev 26:12, 1 Ki 6:3, Ps 11:11, 13, Ps 95:10, Isa 1:3, 51:16, 52:6, Jer 7:23, 11:4), and the last book in the Bible declares ,’Look! God’s dwelling-place is among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.’ (Rev 21:3) Throughout all the ups and downs, God is teaching His people to trust Him.
And that was when something shifted for me.
I realized that, when I was hurt or let down by other people, I assumed that it was because I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people: that God had not provided for me. Yet this place, at this time, with these people, is God’s best provision for me.*
I realized that I needed to intentionally assume that God is for me, here and now, that this is where He will work. I needed to extend trust to these people again, doing all I can to ‘bloom where I am planted,’ placing my confidence, not in the people themselves, but in God and His provision for me.
‘Father, please help me to trust You enough to be willing to extend trust to others, knowing that they are not perfect, that they may well let me down again. Thank You that You have provided for me, that You will never let me down, that You are all I need. Thank you that Your heart’s desire is for me to trust You, and You enable me to do that.’
* If you are experiencing domestic abuse and in physical danger, this does not mean you should stay and suffer. Please remove yourself to a place of safety and seek help.
© Mary Jacquelin Douglas 2020
Hi, my name is Mary. I’ve been a member of City Gate church for ages, and my desire to know God grows every year. I’ve recently been exploring the relationship we can have with God as Father because of Jesus, and that colours everything I see. In the midst of this corona virus pandemic, I find myself wondering what God is doing at this time.