Yesterday, we explored the importance of just calming down long enough to recognize God in our situation - to really just settle our emotions, physical movement, and mental chaos long enough to realize we cannot bring everything that is needed into play in the moment. We need God to do it for us - and he cannot do it until we give him room to do it. As an important part of giving God room to work in our lives, we also come into the place where we just need to unload our problems. Whenever we God enough room to actually take control of the circumstances of our lives, we find ourselves being more willing to "unburden" ourselves by sharing our problems with him. As long as we think we have it under control, we don't usually "spill the beans" about the pressures which are mounting, the problems we are being inundated with, or the pressing demands of everything all at once. An important part of trust is the ability to tell the other person almost anything - if not everything! Trusting God this much isn't possible until we actually slow down long enough to recognize him in our lives - then we begin to develop this relationship of sharing. At first, the types of things we share with him are not much different than the stuff we share with our new friends right here on earth - basic, superficial, and kind of like we are sharing just to "test the waters". One thing is for certain, unless we move past the superficial and basic sharing of "facts" with God, into the place of sharing our true heart thoughts and desires, we will never grow into the depth of trust we really need to develop.
People, always put your trust in God! Tell him all your problems. God is our place of safety. God says there is one thing you can really depend on, and I believe it: “Strength comes from God!” (Psalm 62:8, 11 ERV)
As I said, part of trust is the ability to "spill the beans" with the other person - knowing full-well that those confidences are going to be respected and held closely to their heart. We may not have experienced this too much in our physical relationships here on this earth, but let me assure you if you give God the chance to actually "listen in on" your deepest concerns and toughest issues, he won't violate that confidence. In fact, he holds up those confidences and helps us through whatever those issues are. I talk a lot to myself. Don't go sending me to the "funny farm" now. Admit it - you do, too! We have these "conversations" going on inside our heads all the time. It is part of reasoning - we are presenting the situation to ourselves and figuring out how it is we will react to it. If we can converse with ourselves that way, why is it we have such a hard time being as free in our communication with God? I think we might just trust ourselves a little too much - having misplaced where our trust really belongs!
When we "tell" something to someone we are really doing a couple of things:
- We are giving an account of a matter through our eyes. This can be quite revealing, actually. We often give an account which reveals we have only one perspective on the matter, revealing quite quickly that we haven't considered all the other "sides" of the issue at hand. This is sometimes one of the simplest ways to settle issues and reveal the specific actions we should be taking - getting the other sides of the issue. When I consider purchasing a new item, I go to some of the websites where people "rate" the product. Why? They have used it, and in the course of time, we can find rather helpful feedback about the product. Some will be content with mediocre performance, while others will candidly tell you not to waste your money. I weigh all these "inputs" of information and make an educated purchases based on the feedback. When we begin to come to God to share our perspective and then remain open to hearing his, we often find out there is another whole "side" to the issue we may not have been able to see and he is willing to walk us through the issue from that perspective.
- We are expressing in words what may not have been expressed before. It isn't hard to see how "revealing" this can be, because when we put into words what we feel or have been experiencing, it can be a little bit like we are "walking naked". There are a whole lot of things I think throughout the day which never make it into words and I am thinking that may not be a bad thing! There are also a whole lot of things in my mind and heart which cannot be dealt with entirely until they make it into words. Herein is the rub - we have to trust enough to put into words what we haven't been able to share with anyone else up to this point. The good news is that God already knows what we are dealing with. You may ask why it is necessary to put those things into words then, but I'd just have to remind you of the importance of us sometimes being willing to bring our the "truth" of our struggles. In the moments we reveal our struggles, it is like we are also yielding ourselves to him - allowing him to not only take the matter into his care, but to "right" within us whatever has been the matter.
- We open ourselves up to two-way dialogue. When we finally take a moment to calm ourselves enough to sort out our deepest thoughts, then begin to share those with God, we find he brings answers we might have only glossed over previously. The truth is, the answer was probably right there in front of us the whole time, but we were so caught up in the frenzy and chaos of the moment, we just didn't realize the answer was there all the time. God has a way of bringing the stuff which really isn't "new" into focus in our lives - giving us a fresh perspective from which we can appreciate the answer to our issue. Some of the time we simply need to make confession of something we have been doing or neglecting - allowing God to help us redirect ourselves back onto course in the matter. At other times, we find he simply gives us new insight not previously recognized or available to us while we remained closed off to hearing from him.
We learn to trust as we learn to open our hearts in dialogue with the one we desire relationship with. If we never open our hearts, we will never develop the place of trust which ultimately shares even the deepest and darkest of secrets. There are few who can handle those secrets, my friend. Isn't it best to develop the relationship with the one who always handles those secrets well? Just askin!