Three mornings in a row I’d awaken to the same three words whispered in my ear, “Do you trust me?” It was a question Jesus repeated to me as I struggle with worry and anxiety. Getting ready to go on a trip to Seattle with my family, I was anxious about the flight, the lack of sleep, our schedule and all of us getting along for a week in close quarters. The excitements about seeing relatives and being in the cool and gorgeous northwest was squashed by my “what if’s.” In the past, I’d had panic attacks on the airplane. In the past, complaints and bad moods had thrown a wet blanket on beautiful surroundings. In the past, I’d had trouble sleeping which had caused my anxiety to rise. So while I tried not to think about it, my anxiety skyrocketed. As the days to departure lessened, Jesus kept asking me the poignant question: “Do you trust me?”
How should I answer when I couldn’t hide the truth?
Yes, I trust you Jesus. Yes, I know you’ve always helped me with my flights and my panic attacks. Yes, I know I felt you touch me and heal me one morning last year as I awoke. Your healing touch brought me hope that my misery on airplane flight had come to an end. Yes, you’ve shown me I can survive without sleep. And yes, when I pray for help in difficult family tiffs you always calm the family storms and help me hold my tongue.
“Do you trust me?”
Yes, I trust you Jesus, but no, I also don’t. Honestly I have trouble holding on to that trust. When some tragedy plays on the TV, when an airplane goes down or a neighbor loses a loved one, my trusts wanes. When a family member dies suddenly I wonder: Didn’t they trust you that everything would be ok? Weren’t they praying for safety? Weren’t they praying for health? Didn’t they trust you too?
“Do you trust me?”
No in many ways I don’t trust you Jesus. I am sorry. The habit of worry dies hard. Negative thought continually pop into my head. I often push them aside choosing to trust, but more often I give in to my lack of trust because peace feels strangely uncomfortable. Worry has become my safety net, a rehearsal for the inevitable bad.
I want to trust you completely Jesus, but I am struggling with my final answer. You have carried me through so much that I want to answer your question with an unequivocal “yes.” But for me trusting you is still a process and honestly I have not yet arrived.
Discouraged by my answer I am reminded by you of others with this same trust issue. David, Peter, and Elijah immediately come to mind. Psalms 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” David had fear first, before trust. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (Psalm 94:19). David also had anxiety. Peter as he got out of the boat had trust, then fear as he sunk into the waves, then faith as he cried out (Matthew 14:28-33). Elijah was so afraid of being killed by Jezebel that he ran to the desert, hid and asked God to end his life (1 King 19: 1-5).
“Do you trust me?”
Jesus I can only use your words from scripture to answer.
Yes, with faith as small as a mustard seed, I trust you (Matthew 17:20).
Yes, I do trust you; but help me overcome my lack of trust (Matthew 9:24).
And finally from Peters words as he sunk into the crashing waves. His words were short and sweet given the desperation of the situation. “Lord, save me,” he cried and that was enough and so his words are enough for me also. Lord, save me from my lack of trust!
Catherine most recent book, Faith Marker Journey: A Sacred Scrapbooking Journey to Guide you into a Deeper Relationship with Christ, is designed to help others record and share their God stories. She is also the co-author, with Lisa Burkhardt Worley, of the award winning If I Only Had… Wrapping yourself in God’s Truth during Storms of Insecurity and Pearls of Promise: A devotional designed to reassure you of God’s Love.