As I write this, one of my favorite gospel rock songs plays in the background. It’s ‘God Dey’ by Eben. The song shares a message of reassurance in God’s ability to come through and encourages the listener to trust in God always.
For many young people, trusting God is easier said than done. We know we should do it, the preacher says we should, we read it in the bible, we’ve heard stories of people who went through stuff and came out smiling because they chose to trust. Wow. That’s a beautiful testimony.
But when it comes down to it, many cave in and settle for other ‘less risky’ alternatives. We run along with our plans because ‘the man upstairs’ seems to be taking too long to let us in on His. He’s holding his cards too close to his chest. The wait gets absolutely unbearable. Pressures mount. Questions from concerned friends and family members are now too frequent. It’s getting harder to explain that you’re still ‘trusting God’ or ‘waiting on Him’. Even fellow believers are starting to doubt your sincerity and some go as far as questioning your ‘seriousness’ with life. Hmmm…trusting can be hard. Trusting is a cool concept- in theory. It’s just too much hassles to practice abeg. Or really?
See, as young people, we’re in a very special season of our lives. Yes our entire lifetime is one special gift but this phase carries some far reaching impact on how we eventually turn out in later years. During this season, some very critical decisions are being made. For the first time, many of us get a full taste of independent decision making. Normally, at this time, parental influence on most of our choices has declined considerably and probably for the first time in our lives, we’re absolutely free to decide which path to tread. This is when most of us consciously seek a precise answer to the question “what do I really want to do with my life?”
Now that’s a huge question. And with tons of glittering alternatives wooing us in different directions, it gets really hard sometimes to choose. What if I take this road and it doesn’t work out? What if I say yes to this and something happens along the way? We know in our hearts that any option we settle for almost automatically means forgetting about several others. So we do what most people do- we keep our options open. We leave all doors ajar. We stay in the middle of the road, doing our best to keep our fingers in as many pies as possible. The last thing we want is to get caught without a plan B.
But deep down inside, we also recognize that by keeping all options open, we short-circuit our effectiveness. We know that if we’d really admit to ourselves, those many ‘opportunities’ are really distractions. We’re spending so much time ensuring that the other doors stay open, we can’t even walk through any. Because somewhere in the back of our minds, we know that by choosing to walk through any door, we must make a choice to turn away from the others and forget about them- maybe forever.
Now how do we ensure that we make the right choices in this critical season? We could use some help. Some form of direction. Thankfully, we’ve got some. More than enough actually- if we’d dare to connect with it.
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and HE WILL DIRECT AND MAKE STRAIGHT AND PLAIN YOUR PATHS”
Proverbs 3: 5-6 (The Amplified Bible)
See, we may be tempted to jump right to the end of verse 6 (in CAPS). That’s what we want. But back up just a bit if you will to the preceding verse and you’ll see how to get to this point. There. That 5-letter word again- T.R.U.S.T.
Have you come to that point where you can trust God in EVERY area of your life? Sure, it may be easy to trust when we have little or no control, but what about those matters that seem as sure as money in the bank? Do we still exercise trust in God in those areas? Each one must answer honestly to himself or herself. I learned this in a tragic and dramatic way.
A few weeks before I left the university, I got a call from a man I worked with during my Industrial Training. He asked about my plans immediately after graduation and I shared my desire to work for a few months before heeding the call to serve my fatherland. He sounded quite impressed and requested that I see him immediately I got back to town. You’re smart- you know what ‘come and see me’ meant in this case. With his level of influence and formidable network of contacts within the company, a job of some sorts was virtually guaranteed. Pretty reassuring, right? A job was practically waiting for me (did I mention that this was an oil company?).
Imagine my shock when I got back to town to hear that ‘my helper’ had died suddenly under very tragic circumstances! I was absolutely shattered! It was so sure- as sure as money in the bank. Then it all disappeared like vapour. That experience taught me a painful lesson- trusting in ANY man (no matter how well intentioned) is a fool’s game.
Do you really desire straight paths for your future? Then “lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord”. It may not always be the easiest thing to do. Our natural tendency goes against trusting in the invisible and the unknown. But that’s what makes trust, trust. It always entails an element of ignorance, an element of NOT knowing it all. But (now pause, take a deep breath, look away from the screen for some seconds before continue reading because what you’re about to read WILL radically change YOUR life!)
Okay let’s go on. But even when we don’t know it all, we can still trust. Why? Because even when we are sometimes ignorant of His future plans and actions, we can be completely aware of His person. And that doesn’t change!
So we trust (get this!), not because we know ALL what He will do, but because we know WHO HE IS. OUR TRUST IS ROOTED, NOT IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIS ACTIONS, BUT IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIS PERSON.
The more we know His person (His character and nature), the less we’ll be anxious when He doesn’t show His plans as quickly or as completely as we’d like.
How well do you know His person? Read that again. I didn’t ask how well you know ABOUT His person but how well you actually know Him for yourself. See, when we get to those crossroads where we’re faced with the option of trusting or doing things our way, how much we know God for ourselves will be the deciding factor.
What the preacher said won’t cut it. The stories of others can’t carry you through that time. It is your PERSONAL acquaintance with His character that will keep your anchor firmly in place when it seems all hell is breaking loose. How well do you know Him for yourself? Have you discovered anything about His person outside what you’ve been told in sermons? That’s what will count when it matters most.
“I am with you [insert your name] all the days (perpetually, uniformly and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age” Matthew 28:20 (The Amplified Bible).
What an assurance. He has never lied and like I frequently remind myself, I’m too small for him to start with. Get to know his person and I assure you that even in His silence, you WILL retain your confidence in His ability to come through for you.
So probably you’re in a tight spot right now, or you’re at a crossroads in your life and need to make some very serious choices, this is for you. He has repeatedly guaranteed the end result for anyone who’d dare to trust Him. So when your heart feels shaky and you feel that biting urge to lose your trust and do things your way, run to these words again:
“They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused”
“[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters…it shall not see and fear when heat comes…IT SHALL NOT BE ANXIOUS OR FULL OF CARE in the year of drought…”
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
“Oh how great is your goodness…which you have wrought FOR THEM THAT TRUST IN YOU…”
Psalm 31:19 (KJV)
In closing, I’m reminded of this lovely verse I came across many years ago but its essence is so powerful it was burned into my memory eternally.
He said “come to the edge”, we said “it’s too high”
He said “come to edge”, we said “we’re scared”
He said “come to the edge”. We came.
He pushed us over- and we flew!
Soar on young person, the wings of trust has never failed before- and you’re too small to break that record.
Live by Design.
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Image Credit: the amazing pics.com