A short time ago, I wrote a post about how God can be trusted.
Somehow three hours later, I returned to my default.
I slid off the edge of trust and into an abyss of mistrustful thinking.
Once again I couldn’t grab any sense of control with my fingers and my thoughts wandered everywhere but towards truth.
It was painful, crippling and humbling.
Not only do I need to practice what I preach but read what I write and believe it.
I am grateful this spiral didn’t last long but was a reminder of how quickly I can return to faulty and familiar ways.
Three times in this past week, my eyes came upon words which helped me to recover, reminded me of where my trust should reside and provided comfort despite my propensity to tumble.
“I have not spoken in secret,
In a corner of a land of darkness;
I did not say to the descendants of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain [with no benefit for yourselves].’
I, the Lord, speak righteousness [the truth—trustworthy,
a straightforward correlation between deeds and words],
Declaring things that are upright.
+++Isaiah 45: 19 (AMP)
This verse was a good reminder of how God speaks words of truth directly.
He is not playing hide and seek with His people.
If I am actively listening for His voice, I will and for my benefit.
My God does not speak in whispers and accusatory hisses.
My God only speaks in promises. He only speaks over me.
He is a promise-maker and a promise-keeper.
His language is promises.
To hear God speaking, we must become familiar with his promises.
+++Hannah Brencher (from First Be A Follower)
When I am overcome by fear or struggle, if I reflect, the words circling my mind are not affirming, life-giving or encouraging. God’s words are full of promises not defeat.
I’m a reader but when I suffer a book slump, I have found reading middle grade fiction, especially fantasy, snaps me out of my book fog. I picked up Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow from the library last week.
All you need to know about the plot is the main character, Morrigan, believes she is a cursed child but she has been rescued from the family and city which gave her this identity. She must conquer a number of trials to be granted admission to the Wondrous Society. At this point in the book, she fearful her patron will not be present for her last trial. She has the following exchange with Fenestra, an enormous feline or a Magnificat (stick with me).
He’d promised her. He’d promised.
Just like he promised to take you to the Nevermoor Bazaar, said a little voice in the back of her head. And look how that turned out.
But this was different, Morrigan told herself. This was her trial. The big one—the one he’d sworn he’d take care of, the one he’d said she didn’t even have to think about. She’d done her very best not to think about it, but now what? She couldn’t do it on her own. She didn’t even know what her talent was supposed to be.
“Fenestra, please!” she yelled, and the cat turned to glare at her. “What’s he doing, where did he go?”
“He said he had something important to do. That’s all I know.”
Morrigan’s heart sank. More important than being there for the most important day of her life? More important than keeping his promise?
She felt wrong-footed. Seized by the sudden terror of her predicament, she entirely forgot why she had been looking for him in the first place.
She was on her own. She would have to do her Show Trial without him. She was on her own.
Morrigan slumped down into one of the leather armchairs by the fire. Her whole body felt as if it were made of lead.
Fenestra stood up suddenly and appeared above Morrigan’s armchair, bringing her enormous furry face down to the girl’s eye level. “Did he say he’d be here for your trial?”
Tears pricked Morrigan’s eyes. “Yes, but—“
“Did he tell you he’d take care of it?”
“Did he promise you everything would be all right?”
A few hot tears spilled down Morrigan’s face. “Yes, but—“
“That settles it, then.” With a placid blink of her huge amber eyes, Fen nodded once. “He’ll be here for your trial. He’ll take care of it. Everything will be all right.”
Morrigan sniffled and wiped her nose with her shirtsleeve. She squeezed her eyes shut, shaking her head.
“How do you know that?”
“He’s my friend. I know my friend.”
When faced with struggles, ask the following questions:
Am I all alone? What do I know to be true? What true words can replace my words of fear,insecurity or lies? Who am I? Who does God say I am? Does each answer agree or contradict? Can I trust my Friend today?
May we each continue on the path of complete and continuous trust in our Maker, but may we also accept grace when we meander.