There’s an undisclosed expectation that we walk around in; an assumption of action, trait, or juncture that has somehow been deemed the way of approval. It’s the conception that strength is the way to successfully move through life, showing no fear, and feeling capable within all circumstances. At some point weakness gained a connotation of inadequacy. That to show uncertainty or wavering faith is unwelcomed and scoffed.
I hear this statement, or some version of it, many times among believers: I am not strong enough to trust God. Just writing that hurts my heart for those that fall into this misconstrued thought process that connects our trust with societies’ opinion on strength. Because here’s the issue. Normally when this conversation is brought up, it is in complete context with your typical “strong” personality- no crying, no questioning, no doubt. We have been convinced these are things with which a believer’s heart cannot admit to. We must not fall weary, we must stand firm, we cannot show struggle or apprehension.
When we find ourselves stumbling into these categories, we fall into hiding, we shy away from community lest they judge us for our “weakness.” If we were to allow ourselves to believe this, we’d imprison ourselves in solitude; we’d be gripped with fear of others opinion and thought; we’d lose sight of our faith entirely, seeking the wrong approval, the wrong judge.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make straight your paths.
Here’s the beauty of the trust that we have been called to have. It has many forms, none of which, involve a perfect portrait of strength. Another way to say trust, is depend. We, as His children, must rely on who God says he is, to walk this life for him. We depend on his word, his guidance, his discipline; we count on his goodness, his grace, his love. This means in times of struggle, in times we feel weak, we can look to him for that strength. He provides it, not ourselves. The kind of tenacity we need to fight the enemy cannot be produced through our own doing. We in ourselves alone are weak, but through the Lord, we are strong.
To trust also means to give account, or protection. Meaning, he oversees us, he guards us; we can expect him to guide our paths so that we may not walk alone.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; for your rod and your staff, they comfort me
I hear this truth and remember that he does not call us to go through this life without him. We have not been created and left in the dark; but rather, created within and for the light. He is our guardianship, the one who is responsible for everything we encompass, and therefore, believing in that, is trusting in him.
Trust is confidence. The hope and expectation in his power and divine nature. We can claim assurance that he will get us through, he will carry us over the waters and through the fire; but we must let him.
You see, trust is not affixed with the worldly definition of strength. We are called to depend on the hope we have in all his promises.
Where in that statement does it say we cannot struggle? We cannot show pain or emotion? Not once does it condemn us for falling to our knees in sobs. Not once does it persecute us for questioning the strife of our life. Not once does it oppress our natural desire to know.
We can trust the Lord with all our heart while we are bowing in tears; we can be nose deep in blood and agony, asking God for answers, and still depend on him. The point is, as long as we are acting within the relationship we have with Christ, we are trusting in Him. Our trust directly depicts our faith. If we believe, and we go to him with our questions, doubts, and tears, then we are aversely relying on him to strengthen us, to answer us, to hold us.
Let us not fall into the trap this world has laid out for us. We cannot handle the sin of our own heart and others without the complete reliance on God. It is deafening, diminishing and capable to destroy our faith, layer by layer. Our weaknesses are not the effect of our trust, but instead an inevitable feature of our creation. We will always possess flaws and frailty, but we may run to God for His strength to overcome them all rather than our own capability.
Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you