How do we come to trust in God, to believe and to live an anxiety-free life grounded in His presence? How do we come to be like Shadrach, Meshack and Abendigo who trusted God even as they were thrown into a fire or Paul who lived through all kinds of challenges including being shipwrecked and jailed. Or how to we live through the current coronavirus shutdown of our lives and the world’s economy without going bananas?
In our journey with Christ God is transforming us, taking our attention away from the ways of our world to looking steadily into His truth, His ways, His love and forgiveness of us, His presence in all that we do. That’s why it is so essential to give our lives to Him, so that we can develop a close, personal relationship with Him that gradually develops the fruit of the Spirit in us—the ability to love, to have joy and peace, to be patient, kind, good and gentle in everything we do, to be faithful to Him and to exercise self-control, just because we can see how well He is taking care of us. So now it is our job to take this transformed self as He calls us into the world to help heal and to draw people to God, not by preaching at them, but by loving and forgiving them. By valuing who they are and what they have been through. By walking along side of them. By praying with them. This is what love is: getting to know another person and embracing him/her as whole people of God, created by Him in His image, knowing that we, too, need to bring our whole selves to God in love: the good, the bad and the ugly as the old western movie title goes.
Another way to gain trust in God is to see how He answers our prayers, not giving us our own personal desires and wishes, but through seeing what God wants for us. I am sure I was praying that my husband would live during his battle with lymphoma in the early 2000’s, but he died in 2001. God so supported me through the end of his life that I did not resent his passing. I certainly grieved the end of our 37 years together, but I was not angry. In time I came to see that he was ready to die; he had healed all his difficult childhood years. And felt totally unapologetic for who he was. As the years went by and the grieving in me subsided, there was God creating a whole new life for me: writing this blog, and three books plus one in process, dyeing silk scarves and enjoying my kids and my grandkids. How different my life now would be if I had taken my husband’s death personally. And gotten stuck in that emotion, unable to move away from 2001.
A third way to gain trust in God is to see the possibilities in what is right in front of us, today it’s the coronavirus, and to see what gifts there are in staying home, even working from home, in not having the errands to run, the movies to go see and other entertainment to enjoy outside our homes: to walk in the beauty of this earth, to feel gratitude for all that we are given. For all the problems the coronavirus has caused, there are also gifts in it to be enjoyed and to take delight in. More family time, just hanging out. No commute time. Trying to figure out how to thrive in this new reality.
Of course, there are the challenges, too. The income, the workplace, a small business owner having to close his/her store or restaurant, the illness itself and the lack of equipment and medicines and much more. Here is where we can also trust God through praying for whatever we need and seeing what God will provide. One thing is for sure, we have no idea how this crisis will end, or how our lives will be directly affected by it in the long term, but we sure can build up our trust in God’s providence and caring for our lives. Praying, listening for His counsel, studying the Bible and staying open to God in all this will help us immeasurably. We have a choice now to live in this world where fear reigns or to live in God’s kingdom here on earth where He is doing His best for us. It is our choice to live in fear or love. Let’s choose love!
And please note: God alone is doing the real work of healing and transforming us; we are totally dependent on Him to rework our lives so that we can faithfully follow Him. So, all the praise goes to Him. And we become our own true and humble selves.
Questions to ponder over the week: In whom do I really put my trust? In God? In the newsmakers? In myself? Where do my loyalties lie? Am I at peace with the world situation right now? Am I trusting God with my life? My needs? My longings?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who trust totally in God. May we trust Him in all things. May we always be at peace, no matter what is happening in our lives.
If you’d like to receive my blog five days a week in your email, go to patsaidadams.com/by-the-waters-blog/. There is a gift waiting for you.
Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts 2x a month. 3.30.20.s is entitled, “Dealing With the Pandemic.”
 Galatians 5:22-23
 Genesis 1:27