“I believe; help my unbelief!”
The father’s prayer from Mark 9:24 was my prayer this week. The further I go down the path of my own faith, I see that the way is paved with trust in the Lord. And trust is hard, especially when I’m so used to leaning on my own cleverness, skills, and initiative to take me where I want to go next.
And as if on schedule, a devotional written by my cousin Ashley arrived in my inbox this week with some words of encouragement. She had published it in the Daily Devotional series of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, and she was gracious enough to let me republish it here. Thanks Ash; love you.
I Trust You
By Ashley Swartzentruber
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Last year, I suffered from a concussion. As a young mom with a busy life, I did not give my brain the time that it needed to heal. In turn, this caused the concussion symptoms to drag on much longer than needed.
I wasn’t able to care for my young son; I couldn’t have a conversation with my husband; I felt useless around the house; I couldn’t go to church; I wasn’t able read my Bible; even praying was difficult. Although God surrounded me with so many wonderful people who helped immensely during this time, I still felt cut off from the world and very much alone.
Feeling isolated from everything, including God, I started crying out to the Lord, “Please, I just want someone to talk to.” It was then that God replied, “I am here, My child. I always have been. You can talk to Me.” I have never heard God so clearly as I did in that moment. I admit that I felt a little ashamed for not having taken the time to be with God earlier.
I will never forget that day. It was a beautiful spring day, and I was sitting on a rock at the back of our property. All of a sudden, I could feel God all around me. He was in the warmth of the sunshine on my face; He was in the gentle breeze swaying the branches in the trees; and He spoke to me through the singing of the birds. I heard those birds, and instantly, this verse came to me:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6: 26)
“Trust Me,” God was saying that day. “Give up all your fears, tears, and anxieties, and just trust Me.”
It still took another three months before I could read my Bible or have a somewhat normal conversation with someone, but every time when I broke down crying, or felt like I couldn’t handle it any more, I would just stop myself and say aloud, “I trust You!”
Life has many battles, and some are larger than others. But as Solomon said:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
We cannot do it without Him, so let us give it all up to the Lord our God and say, “I trust You!”
Please forgive us when we try to do it all on our own.
Help us, Lord, to turn to You for guidance, wisdom, and strength.
Help us to start each day by remembering to trust in You and to live a life that puts You at the centre.