Lately, I’ve felt the pressure mounting. Things that would normally roll off my back seem to just—you know—sit there.
Bills to pay. Kids to school. Doctor appointments. Cars to fix. Phone calls. Emails. Family pressure—be present more. Be more. Do more. Say more.
Mothers carry so much. Mothers are the gatekeepers of the next generation—and the next generation is up against a lot. How we respond to the pressures of this world is shaping an entire generation. It impacts our marriages. Our response to fear and pressure speaks for our faith.
I wonder: What does my life say about where I have placed my trust?
A few days ago, as I was struggling with a painful circumstance in my life, I realized something. I have a hard time trusting God. I’m not talking about faith here. My faith is as real to me now as it was when I first realized the truth of the Gospel. In that moment, I wept for the price that Christ paid for me. My heart was broken and my resolve was clear; I wanted to serve the Lord. I trusted Him. At least, I thought I did. But what does a six year old know of the trials this life can bring?
A child has no frame of reference to even consider the struggles that are coming. As a 44 year old mother of seven, I’m discovering that I still have a lot to learn about what trust looks like. As the pressure builds, I see clearly that I struggle to trust God’s heart toward me. I want to lean in, but I find I lean away—into my own strength and my own “solutions.”
Not a very good example, am I?
I turned to the Psalms, but God’s offer of “peace” alluded me. I searched for it, but struggled to see it as images of Americans losing their lives at the hands of ISIS flooded the news.
“Though war rise against me, I shall be confident…”
Heard of any wars lately?
I praise God for His Word! In His Word, I discover again that my hope is never going to be found in my government, or my husband or myself. David makes this clear. The source of the psalmist David’s confidence and stability was not in his own strength—but in God. The example that David set for us resounded in my heart. This man, whom God called “the apple of his eye” struggled with fear. One minute he was praising God, and the next, he was crying out for rescue—and the undertones were often full of fear and worry!
“Do not hide … do not run … do not abandon or forsake me …”
I asked myself what David asked. “Has He ever failed me?” No. Even in my darkest moments, He has been there. My life is not unlike David’s life. He experienced the trials and triumphs of this life. He was falsely accused. He was in mortal danger. He lacked wisdom. He made wrong choices.
But here’s the thing the Psalms teach us loud and clear: we can’t do this life on our own. When we give God our fear, He gives faith in return. Notice the interaction Jesus with the father of a boy Jesus was preparing to from the affliction of an evil spirit:
“Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
I love the raw honesty of this father before the Master. He laid down his pride and just blurted it out … “I want to trust You, but I’m struggling!” Jesus didn’t point a finger or rebuke the man—instead, He healed the boy. It was always in His heart to do so.
If you struggle with unbelief, if you wonder if it’s safe leave your pain and fear in His hands, it’s okay. God understands. He knows we are dust. Today, you can lift your empty hands to Him with me—and choose to let your struggle draw you closer to the One who made you.
In the end, we have two choices to make as we navigate the uncertain waters of this world: we can trust Him or we can trust ourselves. If we trust Him, the Bible says our trust is well-placed. When the walls are falling down on us, we can confidently repeat the words of David:
“Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear;
Though war rise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.
…I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”