“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” – Philip Yancey
I love running for many different reasons, but one of the main ones is that moving my body brings focus to my mind.
Running, similar to writing, helps me process my thoughts and emotions.
Sometimes this feels a bit intense, like I’m tapping into my subconscious mind and flushing out negative energy.
During a run this week, I started thinking about a horrific news story I’d heard earlier in the week about the brutal rape of an 8-month-old baby.
You guys – I suddenly felt like I was hyperventilating on the treadmill. Angry tears welled up and I found it hard to catch my breath.
I realized that I wasn’t only feeling livid towards the disgusting perpetrator. I felt angry with God. Where were you, God? Where were you when this child needed you? How could you create a world where something so heinous can take place?
This story is the type that honestly makes me question the entire set-up of this world. It makes me question the good in humanity, and it makes me question you, God.
After I wrote this post about wanting to strengthen my faith, my wonderful, wise mom mentioned that trust in God is an indispensable part of faith. Of course it is. I hadn’t thought of it before. Trust.
That’s what I need to build in order to strengthen my faith. Trust in God.
The question then becomes, how do we trust a God who made an imperfect world with imperfect people?
I get the whole He wanted to give us free will argument, but why give us free will when many choose to use it in evil ways?
I decided to google how to build trust in a relationship thinking that suggestions might also apply to a relationship with God. I stumbled upon this article, and it provided the following tips that I think are applicable.
To build trust:
Communicate Openly: Trust can’t be built unless we know someone, and the same can be said for a relationship with God. This involves honest prayer. The God who I believe in will still love me even though I got angry with Him this week. The God who I believe in wants us to go to Him when we are experiencing fear, doubt, and anger.
Be Vulnerable: I can’t think of anything more vulnerable than admitting that I can’t make it in this world without a relationship with God. Non-believers, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that some of you view this as the ultimate weakness. Sometimes I think non-believers view faith as the easy way out, like believers are wrapping a pretty bow of goodness on an imperfect world just to settle our hearts and minds. It’s true that having a relationship with God brings me peace, but it’s anything but easy to let yourself be vulnerable. For me, at least, keeping the faith requires work. All relationships, including the one with God, require effort.
Be Forgiving: This one gave me my aha moment. For me to have the trusting relationship with God that I’m seeking, I have to forgive Him for creating an imperfect world. I have to forgive the fact that He set up a world that houses both love and hate, faith and doubt, and innocence and brutality. I have to surrender my minds’ incessant need to understand why things are the way they are and trust that one day everything will make sense. Trust and faith both require surrender.
Oprah Winfrey once said that she doesn’t want to make people believe in God. She wants people to experience God. I understand what she means by this. Faith isn’t a knowing with the mind as much as it’s a deep, internal knowing within. When I close my eyes and shut what is often a painful world out, it’s there. The deeper knowing.
God help me trust this knowing.
“Why?” doesn’t always have an answer in this world, but trust is knowing the answer will one day reveal itself.