I love the account of the time Peter asked Jesus to “command me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28 CSB). Jesus told him to come, so Peter got out of the boat and began walking toward Jesus on the water. “But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ ” (Matthew 14: 30 CSB). When Peter SAW what the wind was doing and how strong the wind was, he was taking his eyes off Jesus and focusing on the storm around him, possibly thinking the storm was greater than The One who had called him out of the boat. He was afraid, and didn’t realize he was right in front of The One the wind and waves obey. Rather than trusting in Jesus, Peter was watching the wind.
We have true control over very little in this world. Friends, I struggle with giving up control and trust. Realizing that most things are out of my control and trusting that God, “has this”. Most of my worries come from “what if’s”. My anxiety is mostly anticipatory (for those familiar, I’m an enneagram 6, and thank you to my dear friend, Melissa for helping me learn this). It’s waiting for something to happen; the leaning fence to fall, the warning light to come on in the car, an accident, the dog to get sick, the diagnosis, the betrayal, it’s waiting for something to go wrong. It’s living life (even when it’s good and going smoothly) worried about “what if” this or that happens, if not today then tomorrow, living as if your worst fears could happen. Unfortunately, things WILL happen. Life is not easy and we ARE promised troubles.
I have really been reflecting on trust the last few days. A scripture that I have read many times hit me in a new way (I love when God reveals new things to us!). It was Luke 23:46 as Jesus was dying on the cross, “And Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I entrust my spirit.’ Saying this, He breathed His last” (CSB). The word “entrust” is what stood out this time from this translation, and I have seen and heard it repeatedly over the last several days. It is a verb, an action word, requiring us to do something. The definition of “entrust” is: “to assign the responsibility for doing something to someone; to put something into someone’s care or protection”. If Jesus entrusted his spirit to God, and I am a Christian (following the example of Christ on how to live), then how much more should I entrust my life to God?
Fixing my eyes on what I can’t control causes me to sink in my anxiety, but when I keep my gaze laser-focused on Jesus, I don’t have to feel like I’m drowning. The storms may not go away, but they can seem lessened and easier to endure because I have entrusted Him with my life. I don’t have to watch the wind and worry about it’s strength, I can trust that Jesus will sustain me on the water, regardless of the storm.
The necklace in the photo below was a gift from a sweet friend and it has so much significane for me. The seed in the middle is a mustard seed. “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17: 20 NLT).
So what is faith, and how do I trust? I turned to the AMP translation for Hebrews 11, “Now faith is the assurance [title deed, confirmation] of things hoped for [divinely guaranteed], and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality- faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval. By faith [that is, with an inherent TRUST and enduring CONFIDENCE in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11: 1-3 AMP). We can put our faith and confidence in God, The One who is unseen, to handle the things that are seen.
For trust, I turn to Psalm 23. I’m reading a terrific book on this passage of scripture entitled, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by W. Phillip Keller. What I love about this book is the author was a shepherd himself, and describes in detail how a good shepherd cares for his flock. He explains just how much care goes in to managing sheep and what it takes to help them flourish and be healthy and content. He then goes on to describe the parallels of how our Good Shepherd cares for us in much the same ways. This book has brought so much significance to those verses, and explained how intimately and meticulously God cares for us, as His sheep.
Going back to the word “entrust”, I think of it as assigning God to take responsibility for my life. I am in His protection. There is not a day (or event) I can face that He has not already seen. “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Some of my favorite verses about trust:
“In peace [and with a tranquil heart] I will lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety and confident trust” (Psalms 4: 8 AMP).
“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3: 5 AMP).
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold you up with my righteous hand” (Isaiah 41:10 CSB).
After meditating on this for several days, I think, for me, faith and trust go hand in hand. If I have faith that God is who He says He is, THEN I can trust that He will do what He said He would do. Because of my faith, I can trust confidently in God that He will never leave me, He has gone before me, He will strengthen me, and He will lead me and protect me as one of His sheep, no matter how strong the wind blows or what storm comes my way. That’s why I love the mustard seed necklace. It reminds me that I do have FAITH (it may be as small as a mustard seed at times) and I can TRUST. The “what if’s” may come, and we will have storms, but I need to keep my focus on Jesus and not watch the wind. Hebrews tells me that I should be, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 CSB). I believe Jesus can take my faith, even the size of a mustard seed, and perfect it to where, “it grows taller than all the garden plants, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade” (Mark 4: 32 CSB), making it continually easier for me to trust. I’m not sure if anyone reading this can relate, if you can, I would love for you to leave a comment and share your struggle with trust, or share how you overcame this. Thank you so much, and God bless you!