Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:5-6)
I’ve been trying to spend more time with God, to listen and to trust in Him. But you know, it’s been hard. That verse came to mind on Monday, and I felt challenged that I was supposed to be trusting in God, not “leaning on my own understanding”. I recalled it, actually, when I was crying in despair over how awful everything was (yeah, grownups cry – get over it). I have honestly been feeling like God has abandoned us, and that there’s no hope – but I know that the Bible promises that God will look after us, that he will take care of us, he will feed us and clothe us and give us good gifts. I’ve been trying to hold onto that, and not my feelings.
My head has been praying “Lord, I believe!” but my heart has been adding “help my unbelief!”. I know God’s promises to be true, so I will hold fast to them.
I could list the manifold reasons I was crying, and the hundreds of prayers that I felt like God didn’t listen to, but actually I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about this – that God has listened, and God has heard our prayers, and that no matter how awful things are right now, He is going to take care of us.
I prayed, amongst other things, that God would show me that He’s there, that He would prove He is listening to us, and that He really would take care of us. I think I can safely say that that prayer has been answered, this week:
Someone I barely know bought me a pair of crutches. In purple/black/silver. They said it wasn’t something they usually did, but they felt strongly that God was saying to buy them for me. Happy tears! We couldn’t afford to buy me any, but I’d been praying for them for ages, because I struggle so much with walking and they’re really helpful. I am so, so thankful for them – both to God and the kind person who gifted them to me.
We’re going to our friends’ wedding; we paid for the transport and such early on, but we haven’t covered accommodation yet, and we can’t afford it really so I’ve been praying about that too – we promised we would go but it seems like a huge financial burden. One of them texted me this week to tell me they have aquired a large flat, so we can just stay with them! YAY!
I am terrified of talking to doctors (both on the grounds that a high proportion of them think ME is psychological, and given my experience with various doctors who concluded I’m not ‘properly’ ill, I’m just lazy/lying/psychotic). I had to have a doctors appointment because I got called up for Jury Duty (again) – safe to say, this resulted in much panicky “help me” prayers.
My doctor started the conversation with something along the lines of “this is about the Jury Duty letter, right? I’ll write the exemption letter, if you can have someone come to pick it up? You don’t even need to come in for an appointment for things like this, I know you and I know that you’re severely ill”. Mind = blown.
This morning, an anonymous letter arrived in the post. It contained a quote from Psalm 23, and the money to hire a van for moving flat. Something we really, desperately needed – and seriously couldn’t afford. I think I was in shock for several hours, and then crying happy tears of “thank you God, thank you so much for hearing us”. Actually, I’m still crying happy tears of “thank you God”. This is possibly the most kind and amazing thing anyone has ever done for us, and it is so clearly an answer to our prayers.
I’m utterly, utterly overwhelmed. At the start of this week I was barely holding on to the promises that God would take care of us, but He has shown us He is listening, He will take care of us. Much of the situation is still the same, but – wow, he sure did help my unbelief. I still don’t know how we’ll get through so many things, but I know God knows. My understanding says that there’s no hope, but I won’t lean on that; I’ll trust in Him.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man
who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:1-5)