When I think about trusting God, it usually relates to big decisions. The life-altering ones that keep you up at night, cause you to eat chips and salsa way past bedtime and have loud discussions with the people in your house.
Last week, our oldest son graduated from eighth grade -- which is really silly, because I'm pretty sure he was just in preschool last week. He attended a Christian school that ends in eighth grade, and so graduation is really a send-off for these 12 kids, many of whom have been together since kindergarten. Like all transitions we face, it's a bittersweet time for the kids. They're so ready to move on to high school, but sad their time together is ending.
The class picked "Trust in God" as their class theme. They asked their favorite teacher, who now lives in Texas, to give the graduation address. Not knowing the class theme ahead of time, she spoke about some recent struggles she and her family faced and anchored her talk with Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.
As I was sitting there, I thought about all of the times I had trusted God with decisions regarding my son. You notice, I didn't say all of the decisions but rather all of the times I had trusted God.
But that is not what this verse says we're supposed to do. We're to trust God with all our heart. With everything in our hearts, not just the big things but everything. This is sometimes hard for me because I'm a doer, a problem solver, and for many years I worked as a project manager. So I look at a problem or decision and try to resolve it on my own. Sometimes that means I write out a list of tasks and start checking off boxes and sometimes it means I assess the situation and use my "gut feeling" to solve it. Either way, my thinking is "I've got this." And, truth be told, I don't always want to "bother" God with everything. Sometimes I think that my problems, issues or decisions are about stuff that's too small to go to God with and that I should only go to Him with big stuff.
For example, when we were selecting which school is best for our daughter with special needs, we definitely took that to God. Or when we were seeking healing for my dad's cancer, I absolutely prayed about that. However, when we were deciding what was the right age for our oldest to get a cell phone, I just handled it. I checked with some friends whose kids are older than mine, read articles on cell phone use in teens and pre-teens and then discussed my findings with my husband.
I'm not sure where this belief started but I do know that this idea that God only wants us to come to Him with the major things is not found in the Bible or any of the teachings of Christ. However, this is something I have struggled with for years. I don't always realize I've wrestled control over a situation away from God until it's over. Until I look back and think "did I make that choice based on what God wants for me or for what Anne wants for me?"
I don't doubt that God is good, all the time. I don't question the truth that God wants His best for me and that His will is sovereign. I just sometimes struggle with taking everything to Him. In order to trust God with everything, to have faith that He will shoulder our burdens and help with decisions, we need to really know Him. After all, it's hard to trust someone you don't fully know. The very best way to know someone is to spend time with them. So in order to know God, we need to spend time with Him -- in his word and in prayer. Embracing the daily disciplines of reading our Bible and praying not only strengthens our knowledge of and relationship with God, it also gives us confidence that we can trust Him with everything in our hearts.
Of course, it would also make it easier to trust God if we knew the outcome ahead of time. But that is where faith comes in. As Hebrews 11:1 states:
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
God is asking us to step out in faith that He knows what is best for us and our family. Through faith we can trust Him to take care of us and everything we are facing.
Are you trusting God with everything? Or are you holding back certain decisions, unsure that God cares or wants you to bring them to Him? I encourage you to bring everything to God -- He not only wants us to, He's waiting for us to come to Him.