You know that “trust” game that we all used to play with our friends when we were younger? The one where your friend stands behind you and you have to “trust” them to catch you as you fall back into their arms?
I hate that game.
In our daily lives as Christians, it can be hard to trust God with our lives and our futures, and I think it’s fair to say that we all have times in our faith where we don’t want to fall back into God’s arms because we’re afraid He won’t be there to catch us. Just like we experience in the trust game that we played when we were kiddos, it’s hard to trust something that you can’t see.
I met up with my good pal, Morgan Frantz, awhile back and he had a lot of light to shed on trusting God and having trouble seeing Him.
Right now, Morgan is walking through a season in which he experiences moments of closeness to God through fellowship and going to church, and at the same time, he is enduring moments of distance from God.
In explaining this to me, he brought up John 6, a passage we studied in life-groups a couple weeks ago. John 6:5-6 reads:
“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what He was going to do.”
Morgan explained that he didn’t think it was a “pass or fail” kind of test that made Jesus ask this question to Philip; it’s more of a “trust me” kind of test. Morgan believes His question was more to prompt him. It says that He already knew what He was going to do, but He still asked Philip what He did. He was asking Him to prompt Him. He put it like this:
“As humans, we’re so fallible; we’re almost always wong, but God doesn’t care about that.”
With his graduation coming up soon, Morgan’s finding himself wondering what will happen if he doesn’t get a job and if/how God will provide for him. It’s been conflicting because he’s finding himself able to trust God in the long term, but in the short term…not so much.
At the same time, he’s realizing that trusting in himself puts us further from God, whereas trusting in Him brings us closer to Him; “when there’s not that central anchor in my life, I lose.”
Through studying the book of John, Morgan is seeing the extent of God’s patience as there is this repetitive notion of God reaching out to us, we outwardly accept Him and then in the next verse we’re rebelling.
As people, we sometimes go back and forth with God, and I think that’s normal. We don’t want to say it because it feels like admitting that we don’t trust God all of the time can feel “un-Christian” and taboo in our faith. I think it’s the opposite. I think if we want to keep an honest dialogue, we have to admit that sometimes it’s hard to trust God.
The following is Morgan’s advice for anyone who finds it hard to trust Him.
1. It’s okay to have questions.
We’re people, alright? We’re not God—we don’t have this infinite understanding of all things. Sometimes, we have doubts; let’s let our doubts out in the open, let’s ask questions. Philip literally had Jesus right beside him when the crowd of people formed and he still questioned. It’s okay.
2. God wants to use us in our weakest moments.
As we see in John 6; Philip was probs freaking out, right? All of these people were gathering around them and they were hungry (for food and knowledge) and he knew that there was no way on Earth that he could feed them. He was at one of his weakest moments, and Jesus still used him.
3. Just because we’re not trusting Him doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want us to be a part of His plan.
’nuff said right there. but seriously dudes. God knows we’re imperfect—He’s God. He made us this way so that way we could be closer to Him—so that we could choose Him. These moments of untrust won’t last forever, He knows that and He still wants you.
4. God’s “unfair” questions can be an open invitation.
Referring back to John 6; it might seem a little unfair that Jesus, literally the Son of God, asked Philip what he was gonna do about feeding all of those people. On the outside, maybe that’s true, but when we look a little deeper, when we know Jesus, we start to see it as an invitation to trust Him.
Who knows—maybe if we trust Him, He’ll help us feed a crowd of starving people.
grace and peace.
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