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Trust and Obey

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

My favorite picture of trust in all of Scripture is in Genesis 22. God tells Abraham to “take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).

Can you imagine the intensity of emotion that he must have felt in that moment?

Consider the conversation that he would’ve had to have with his wife. She’d waited her entire life to be a mom, and finally at the age of 90 (NINETY!), she gave birth, only to have her husband come to her a few years later and tell her that he’d be sacrificing their son as a burnt offering!

Imagine the trip. The awkward silence as Abraham, Isaac and servants traveled to the mountain. The confusion on his little boy’s face when his dad tied him up and laid him on the altar. What must that have been like for Abraham? What must Sarah have been enduring back at home?

We have the privilege of reading the whole story in a few short verses, but Abraham and Sarah didn’t have that privilege. They had faith, they trusted that God would provide an alternate sacrifice, but they couldn’t be sure until it actually happened.

Spoiler alert: God did provide another sacrifice, and both Abraham and Isaac were able to return home to Sarah. I believe that God blessed them in this way because they trusted him, and they obeyed.

I’m thankful for the picture of trust that they paint for us. It is crucial to our wellbeing that we trust in God’s plans and purpose, but it is also important to remember that God doesn’t get mad at emotions — he created them! Feeling sad, broken, angry, desperate for relief — those aren’t sinful. Your emotions don’t necessarily equal a lack of trust. They simply make you human. The hard work comes when we walk in faith despite our emotions.

I am a foster mom. Right now, I have a 14-month-old little boy who has been with me his entire life. His biological parents have asked me to adopt him but, since their rights have been terminated, their voices are not a factor to the State of Texas. The State is still looking for distant relatives in another State. So, we continue to live in limbo. Simply typing these words and acknowledging that he may not be with me forever causes tears to well up in my eyes. My tears do not equal lack of trust. I trust that God loves my little boy more than I will ever be able to love him (which is SO hard to fathom!). I trust that God has good plans for his life. I trust that God will provide financially so that I can hire an attorney when the time is right. I trust that he will land where he is supposed to, whether that is with me or not. But I assure you, if it is not with me, I will unapologetically grieve deeply.

As believers, we have to check in with ourselves. If you’re in a challenging season right now, take some time to really assess whether or not you are trusting God to provide and meet every one of your needs. Where there is lack of trust, pray and ask him to help you trust.

Also, take the time to acknowledge your emotions and address them in a healthy way (ignoring or numbing them does no good). Living in community, having accountability, encouraging one another — these are necessary elements to living the lives God has called us to live.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
— Psalm 37:4–6

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