"Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" Mark 9: 24b
You see, I am a bit of a control freak. OK, I admit that "a bit" does not even come close to how much I really desire to control all of the circumstances in my life. Yet, I have to admit that as the Lord has worked in my life these past 16 years, since I became a believer, my ability to let go of that need to control everything around me has lessened. But then, that being said, does not mean the temptation to take things into my own hands or worry my plans into the ground have completely left me. Instead, in general, I have learned to trust in God's plan, His will, and even in the things that may not be very pleasant for a time as they transpire in my life.
But, the one thing which God confronted me with, in a very heavy way this past week in regards to this area I still struggle with, is that when I get a definite plan set in my mind, my trusting that He would will the same thing for me goes out the window. It seems as if I say to myself, "This is what I really want and these are the plans I am going to lay out to make it happen and I will pray that God blesses my plans." But at the same time in the back of my mind I am also thinking, "God you can't have any better plan than this plan. This is what I want. You need to make it happen or else I just don't know if I can trust You." Have you ever been there? I am hoping I am not the only doubter in this group and what I have to say from here on may be a continuing encouragement for those of you who find yourself along this same pathway of uncertain belief.
"Oh Lord. Help my unbelief that you will ALL THINGS for my good!" This was my cry to the Lord as yet another song on my 20 minute ride home from town on Monday night pierced my soul and confirmed to me how much I have been doubting the goodness of the Lord and His desire for me to trust Him.
I don't consider it a coincidence that every day since that evening drive I have; turned on the radio, caught my daughter singing a song, walking into the chicken coop which has the local Christian radio station playing throughout the day, or found a song spring up in my head that I just by habit started to hum, I found myself hearing the same message of my need to trust in the Lord. No, God has been speaking and He has been making Himself loud and clear that this is an issue I must not hold onto any longer. My doubt and fear of not getting my way can no longer stand in between Him and me. My faith life and my relationship with Jesus are too important to not deal with this issue the Lord has allowed me to confront and deal with these past few weeks. My desire to instead ignore this issue and not write about it had to be confronted and overcome in order for change to begin.
So what can I do to doubt less and believe more? By myself I can really do nothing but to call upon the Lord and the promises He has given me - to memorize them and to stand firm within them. It is the Lord who then needs to help my unbelief as I admit that it is the thing I desire for Him to remove out of my life, the thing I realize that has come between us, and the stumbling block I no longer desire to separate us. I have to be willing to admit to Him each morning as I come before Him in prayer that I want to not only know He has loving plans for me here on earth AND for eternity in heaven, but that my plans are His for the taking and I no longer desire to vie for control over anything that may transpire that day or any other day that lies ahead.
Truth be told, I am really not in control of much and my plans are really out of my hands. The Lord is the one who sets the events of each day in place, and it is I who need to either walk in what He has for me with obedience and trust or walk away from His plans and know that each step I take out of His will removes me from His protection and from the ultimate good He desires for me.
So, today is another day I have to admit to the Lord I don't have enough belief in me to deal with all the doubt and fear my sinful heart and mind can dish out in relation to what will transpire in my future. But with His help, I do have all the strength, wisdom, power, peace, and blessed assurance I need to make it through this day and onto the next, knowing that He holds my entire future in His hands, His promises are never failing, and His love for me is beyond anything that I can comprehend. Yes, each day has enough troubles of its own that need my attention to how the Lord would like me to respond to them - focusing on those things one at a time and allowing the Lord to lead each step of the way is living in belief and trust.