Guest Post: Ellen Jacobs: An Unpleasant Realization

I have been thinking a lot lately about trusting God. I guess when you are in transition or difficulty, it often comes to mind. I realized that for the most part I don’t trust Him. I only trust me. I think that I have a better grasp on my problems than He does, that I know what the best solutions are and that He probably won’t do what I want Him to anyway. These realizations were not pleasant to me.

Perhaps I don’t trust him because I haven’t got enough personal experience to draw from? I know the Bible stories and the accounts of His faithfulness to others, but why can’t I remember much of this when it is my own personal difficulty? I think there are two reasons.

The first is a lack of remembering. I am not alone in this habit. The Israelites were notoriously bad at remembering what God had done for them. They even built altars of rock (at God’s instruction) to help them better remember the great works He had done on their behalf. I am a sloppy rememberer. I know God has done lots of things for me, that He has shown His faithfulness over and over again, but do I have an altar of rocks to remember it by? No, not even a pebble. I used to write down my prayer requests and try to go back and look at them to see what God had done. It was a great exercise, but I still forget to do it. Perhaps I should take a lesson from the Israelites. I could write things down, plant a tree or even start a rock collection! Maybe I need a “touchstone” to remind me of what I fail to remember on my own.

The other reason I don’t remember to trust God is because I take care of myself, by myself. If I am always fixing my own problems, scrambling to rearrange circumstances and smooth the rough road, I never have to let Him do it. If I never give him a chance to be faithful to me, never get myself in a situation where I am unable to fix it myself, then I have no stories to tell, no miracles to recount. I think this is a bigger problem than my poor memory. I would rather trust myself. Though my solutions are less exciting than God’s, they are more predictable. I am good at scrambling. I can juggle lots of ideas at once and feel more comfortable with all of them, since they come from my own head! No stretching here, thank you.

If I want to build my faith and trust in God, I need to need Him. I must recognize my lack of resources, my inability to fix things and the inferiority of my predictable solutions.  When I allow Him to rescue me from myself, I learn that I can trust Him.