It was just a few days into the new year that I received the phone call. Unsuspecting, I picked up my phone and answered. From the other end I heard a weak voice say “aunty (blank) has passed this afternoon”. I didn’t know how to respond. She had a severe cancer so I was expecting the news, yet hoping against it somehow. I was unsure of how to feel.
To give some backstory, I moved to the city of Adelaide, Australia back in early 2018. I felt God lead me to move, but before I had made plans for a place to live, I was at a Christmas family gathering just weeks before I needed to move. Out of no where, an aunt of mine approached me and asked what I was doing early next year. She then explained that she and her husband, (my uncle), were going overseas for a month and needed someone to look after the house. The timing was perfect from me needing to move to Adelaide matching when they were leaving.
Oh yeah… she wanted to PAY ME to stay there too.
Needless to say I promptly accepted the generous offer. I ended up staying on after this lovely couple returned from their trip. Altogether I was there for around 18 months. We got a lot closer and became good friends.
Now all of that was gone. She was gone.
In the midst of this happening, I felt misunderstood by some friends and experienced a breakup.
My emotions were in utter turmoil. Most days became a blur of strong sad emotions. I didn’t know how to handle so much loss at the same time, so I started praying like my life depended on it.
Through prayer, I was drawn into God’s presence in a way I have NEVER experienced before! In this terrible mess of a season in my life, God was with me. He brought deep comfort to me.
I am reminded of Psalm 23 which says
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. – NLT
Verse 4 stands out to me the most – Even when I walk through the darkest valley … you comfort me.
I know this to be true; when I trusted God and let him be my shepherd, these things followed. It’s all good and well to speak these verses into your life and believe for them, but I really believe that it is when you actively put your trust in God and allow him to lead you that these verses become a part of your life.
I had to trust that God loved me and still had a plan for my life.
I’m going to be honest. It was FRIGGIN’ HARD! (Mind the Christian swear word) Yet God was there the whole time. I had to trust him above my feelings.
To really trust God and let him lead me, I had to put aside every plan I made and give it to him in prayer. I recognized some goals I had in life that probably (definitely) weren’t aligned with God’s.
I had to let go of them. MANNN that was hard. It’s one thing to let go of an idea that just popped into your head, it’s a whole different thing letting go of hopes and dreams that you have poured blood, sweat and tears into.
As I gave each hope, dream, and plan for my future to God, he started showing me his hopes, dreams, and plans for my life. Now that was cool! I found out that God had called me to so many different things I never saw when I was too busy pursuing my own selfish plans! The shock to me was that God’s plans were actually bigger than I dared dream myself!
This part blew my mind. God trusted me more than I trusted myself!
What do I mean? God’s plans for my life are beyond what I consider myself capable of. He puts more faith in me than I put in myself. I do not mean that my human ability is able to do this, but that with God, I can do more than I dared even think possible. It turns out that trusting in God unlocks a whole other world!
I really believe that because I started learning to trust in God, my relationship with him grew more in the last two months than the last two years. I do not say this lightly. One month truly trusting in God saw more growth than a year of being a good Christian guy.
What are your experiences of trusting in God? How did you trust in God? How did God respond to you?