We distrust God when we are fearful of losing control.
When we try to take control, we ultimately leave no room for God to be God. We live in the harshness of the worst-case scenario, even though that probably isn’t our reality at all. I do this all the time. I am triggered by a small fear, and instead of taming this thought, I feed it. I magnify it. I let it dictate my reaction. Everything gets blown way out of proportion because I convince myself that only my created protection will help me avoid the worst-case scenario.
When my daughter, Hope, was fifteen years old, she announced she wanted to spend her summer with a missionary family in a remote village in Ethiopia. The minute she told us what she wanted to do, my mind started racing through all the scenarios of dangerous possibilities, from her getting kidnapped to contracting a life-threatening illness where she wouldn’t be able to get medical help to her plane crashing. Fear overwhelmed my emotions to the point that I couldn’t hear any of the details she was sharing. I just quickly and sternly said, “Absolutely not!”
She kept trying to plead her case, but I shut her down and kept saying no.
I could see the hurt and confusion sitting heavy on her. And that look on her face kept popping into my mind over and over. I felt utterly conflicted. I wanted what was best for her but my fear kept overriding any consideration I had for letting her go. I wanted to protect her, but my desire turned into control the moment I refused to pray and seek God about it. Any time I want my way more than seeking wisdom, I stop checking my desires with God and easily go astray.
Eventually, I felt God tugging at my heart with this thought: The safest place for your daughter is in the center of God’s will.
Though I was still afraid and anxious, I slowly opened my heart to the possibility of her going on this trip. Now, granted, my fears were not unfounded. But as I released trying to control the situation, I gained a deeper sense of trusting God that if all the details worked out, I wouldn’t let my fear hold Hope back from going.
That summer missions trip did more to grow Hope’s faith in God than anything else she’d ever experienced. God had a plan, and I’m so grateful that my desire to control situations that make me afraid didn’t derail that experience.
When hard times come and it seems God is deviating from the plan we assume our life should follow, we’re more likely to want to tame God, not trust Him. No human can carry the weight of being their own god, but so many of us try. In Trustworthy, a 6-session study of 1 & 2 Kings, join Lysa TerKeurst in Israel as she honestly reveals the places of distrust in her own heart while exploring the deeply applicable Scriptures that will teach us how to truly trust God.