Hiding Your Trust Issues in Untrustworthy Colorless Gray

Do you ever feel like in your relationship with God that you are winning?

That question may make you uncomfortable. How about this one? Do you ever feel like in your relationship with God that you are cared for? At least a little?

Disappointments color everything with a colorless gray. We then view God with this untrustworthy colorless gray.

You believed once. You believe still. You are afraid to not believe. So this untrustworthy colorless gray becomes a safe place for you.

It even hides your trust issues with God. Because it is easier to pretend you are okay. (That’s an exhausting lie.) Because it is too fearful to openly share your doubts or your anger at God. (Or is it really rage at God? I’ve been there.) The feared rejection of your people feels safer than the risk of them seeing your smashed heart and how angry you are at God and how little you trust God. You believe your people prefer this untrustworthy colorless gray on you.

Yet something deep in your soul wishes for you and God to be close again. You long for those days when God made sense.

Trust is evidence-based.

Trust builds trust.

Wrestling with God builds trust. As in the story from the Old Testament of Jacob getting his opportunity to “take God on.” Jacob wrestles with God all night long, but doesn’t know it yet. He’s just angry, frustrated wrestling because he can. When dawn breaks and he realizes who he’s been wrestling with, Jacob didn’t let go and apologize. Scripture says Jacob hangs on tighter and says, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” (Genesis 32:26).

That one sentence describes my Bravester faith—even in my most confused times.

This seems so opposite. It seems that wrestling with God is you full of doubts and anger and not trusting God. It seems that a faithful person would be able to wait in trust because they know that God is sovereign.

I have a single mom in my church. She has three children. When they come back from their dad’s they are emotional messes letting her see and feel all of their wide range of emotions. She’s okay with that because she understands that her kids trust her to show all of the emotions this divorce gives them. At their dad’s house they have to perform happy. Her safe home allows her kids to feel the emotions and still know they are deeply loved. What a gift this mom is giving to her children.

This is wrestling with God. Wrestling with God is honesty. Wrestling with God is allowing your emotions to move you towards God. Especially the God you don’t understand any more.

Because God’s love is safe and big enough for your honesty.

Trust is evidence-based.
Trust builds trust.
Wrestling with God builds trust.

The wise Dr. Henry Cloud created this list of ingredients for trust to take place in a relationship.

  • Intent — You’ll trust when you know someone’s motives are good.
  • Understanding — You’ll trust when you feel someone understands you.
  • Character — You’ll trust when someone’s character reveals traits such as honesty, love, compassion, mercy, courage, patience, etc.
  • Capacity and Ability — You’ll trust when someone has the ability to do what you need them to do. A surgeon, for example, should know how to perform an operation.
  • Track Record —You’ll trust someone based on their past behavior. –Dr. Henry Cloud, email, November 16, 2020

You will learn all of these when you dare to wrestle with God. You will learn that God is trustworthy. You will learn that God is trustworthy again.

Wrestling with God always starts with a painful time. Pain is your beginning.

Wrestling with God requires vulnerability because every doubt you have about God is magnified. This life event already magnified those doubts. Instead of ignoring those doubts and just pushing through with that untrustworthy colorless gray, you have decided to “know if you have the blessing.”

This takes time (and you come to understand that real promise that God waits with you). This means you have to feel the disappointment, confusion, anger. This takes opening and reading the Bible, no matter how much the Bible is adding to your confusion. This becomes one of the most memorable times of your life. (True that!)

You will find God’s intent, understanding, character, capability and ability, and track record. This confusing and intimidating Bible will show you that God is trustworthy.

Your questions matter. Your fears matter. Your anger matters. Embrace the vulnerability of them and find out who God is.

In this story of Jacob wrestling with God, do you realize that Jacob was winning? When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Genesis 32:25.

What? The man/the angel/pre-incarnation Jesus (theological debate on this identity) took advantage of supernatural power to win? Yes.

Do you ever feel like in your relationship with God that you are winning?

A safe colorless gray faith does not have that feeling. A safe faith says “I know you are omnipotent so I will feel helpless while I wait on you.” You may choose to wait on God like this. Not I. I choose to bravely—thus vulnerably–trust God.  It’s my brave decision to brave decision to brave decision.

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A small book about being the people that hurting people need.

“This is the book that I wish I had had for people in my life that have suffered and needed me to be that compassionate friend. This is the book that I wish others in my life had read before they dismissed my pain, or compared it to theirs, or stumbled horribly through trying to lessen my pain because it was actually really about THEM not feeling comfortable with it.”

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