*Today I thought I’d share something that I’m revisiting–trusting in God. When asked to guest post for Advancing Native Mission’s iWomen Online Bible Study, I offered this piece. Once again, the subject of trusting in God resonated deeply with many of the women. It is hard to take a leap of faith. Nerve-wracking to say the least. Maybe you find yourself peering over the precipice, wondering if you should take the reckless leap to the other side. Or, maybe you find yourself facing a “such a time as this moment,” like Esther. May these words give your heart a little more courage. I can promise you this, God is waiting on the other side. If he calls you to leap, He will be there to catch you.
“The Holy Spirit may call us to a definite purpose for our life and we know that it means a decision, a reckless fling over onto God, a burning of our bridges behind us, and there is not a soul to advise us when we take that step except the Holy Spirit. Our clingings come in this way: We put one foot on God’s side and one on the side of human reasoning. Then God widens the space until we either drop between or jump to the other side. We have to take a leap—a reckless leap—and if we have learned to rely on the Holy Spirit, it will be a reckless leap to God’s side.”
The Reckless Leap of Trusting in God
The year was 1983. Standing on the stage of The Miss Virginia Pageant, Trust and I met face to face. Having spent every ounce of energy preparing for this moment in time, I was expecting great things. For years, coaches, trainers and well wishers urged me forward in my pursuit for the crown of Miss America. For almost a full year, I thought of nothing else. Preparation was all-consuming: running eight miles a day, dieting, exercising, reading up on current affairs and social issues, and practicing my talent until the soles of my tap shoes wore bare.
In Life Coaching, we call this a life shift.
A critical moment on your life journey,
where things change. Can you remember such a time?
Now, the moment had come and the announcer began…. “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fourth Runner Up is……….The Third Runner Up is………………The Second Runner Up is……………..The First Runner Up is………………….and our New Miss Virginia 1983…………”
Wait a minute. He didn’t call my name. Why didn’t he call my name? I must be dreaming.
Trying to remain composed and forcing my well-rehearsed, on-stage smile, I remembered the television cameras were rolling.
Keep it together, Janell, just keep it together. Whatever you do, don’t fall apart, and for heaven’s sake, remember you are on television. A few more minutes and this will all be over.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion. At the exact moment they were crowing the new queen, placing the flowers in her arms, I felt it. Without any warning, a warm, flowing peace melted over the top of my head and flowed to the bottom of my feet. Never before had I felt anything like it. Tucked inside this blanket of heavenly peace was a love note from God.
Learning to Trust in God
Trust. What a word. What vast shadows this five-letter word casts. Standing on that stage, a new believer in Christ, I had no idea what it really meant to “trust in God.” I had only begun to scratch the surface of my understanding of trust. My initial reaction was to run to my room and sob. But, there is no greater teacher than time and experience; now in hindsight, I see God’s loving hand taking mine, saying, “Daughter, this is going to be good. Just give it some time. I will show you the better plan. Right now, I want you to take that leap. That reckless leap to my side.”
Esther’s Reckless Leap
Flashback to another young woman preparing herself for perhaps one of the first beauty pageants in the world, lovely young Hadassah, known to us as Esther, in the capital city of Susa, 483-473 BC. What do we know about this young woman, known to us as a true vessel of honor…a symbol of courage…an obedient follower…? As recorded in the book named after her, we read:
- She was an orphan adopted by her Uncle Mordecai, the Jew (Esther 2:5-7).
- Considered a young woman who “had a lovely figure and was beautiful” (Esther 2:7c).
- Brought to the citadel of Susa with other young women, in order to be prepared and considered as the new wife of King Xerxes (Esther 2:8-23).
- She was highly favored (Esther [2:17]) and chosen as the new queen (Esther [2:17]-18).
- Was called upon to take the reckless leap of trusting in her God, even though this might require her life (Esther 4: 11).
- At her uncle’s request, she once again (Esther [2:20]) obeys and takes the reckless leap, “For such a time as this” (Esther 5 and 6).
- Esther wins King Xerxes favor (Esther 7) and evil Haman is put to death on the very gallows he designed for Mordecai.
- Esther’s reckless leap saves her people from the edict of annihilation (Esther 8:9-17).
Our “For Such a Time as This” Moment
Esther’s courage gives me courage. Every single moment in her life led her to that banqueting table where she had to ask King Xerxes to spare her people. Spare her life. I wonder if there was that one moment when she, too, felt as if she met Trust face-to-face? In no way am I comparing myself to Queen Esther, but in truth, we each have our very own, “for such a time as this” moment, when “the Holy Spirit may call us to a definite purpose for our life and we know it means a decision, a reckless fling over onto God…”
Maybe you find yourself standing right on the edge of that reckless leap. Toes gripping the sharp edges. Heart pounding at a frightening pace. Palms sweating with the hope of release. Mind racing with competing thoughts. If so, go ahead. Take one God-sized deep breath and fling it all over to God. He’s waiting on the other side.
1. Perfect trust. Webster offers this definition of trust—and I have gone one step farther and investigated the meanings of reliance and veracity:
|“A reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.”||“Rest or repose of mind, resulting from a full belief of the veracity [habitual truth] or integrity of a person, or the certainty of a fact.”|
The place of trust is unique to every individual. We all come to the edge of the precipice where we must make the decision to trust. This precipice can take many forms—cancer, divorce, prodigal children, a medical diagnosis, addiction, infertility, financial strain, unemployment, aging parents, miscarried dreams or plans, or ____________________ (you fill in the blank)—each customized to draw us closer to the Lord. Read Psalm 9:9-10 and transform it into a prayer of trust for your situation. Will you share with us?
2. Author and Pastor, Chuck Swindoll, wisely writes, “The secret to responsible trust is acceptance. Acceptance is taking from God’s hand absolutely anything He gives, looking into His face in trust and thanksgiving, knowing that the confinement of the hedge we’re in is good and for His glory. Even though what we’re enduring is painful, it’s good simply because God Himself has allowed it. Christianity is trusting Christ, not self. Perfect trust is resting all on one’s weight on something else, not on self.”
This isn’t easy to do and sometimes feels like we are doing nothing at all. How can we practice “resting all of our weight on God, not on self?”
3. Read through 2 Timothy 2, noting particularly verses 20-21. Esther was a vessel of honor, prepared for her “such a time as this moment.” How can we prepare ourselves for our “such a time as this moment?”
4. Usually, we hear the word “trust” attached to the little preposition, “in.” Trust in God. Trust in the Lord. It implies that we place this intangible object, trust, in an invisible reality, God. It requires a transaction in the spiritual realm, not the physical.
Intangible Object ✒ Invisible Reality
(TRUST) ✒ (GOD)
I can’t physically touch or understand either of these two things—they are spiritual in nature. It’s like trying to capture the wind, bottle the ocean or catch a falling star. Standing on that stage, I wanted something I could touch. Words were not enough.
In light of this, I went on a treasure hunt for scriptures that addressed this spiritual transaction. Somehow, I thought, this would help me be able to grasp the intangible reality of trust. And, it did help. I handpicked thirty scriptures and created a chart, which I call The Challenge to Trust, to keep in my Bible. I knew there would be days that my trust in God would be tested. And, I was right. Over the next few days, take the “Trust Challenge.”* Take your time. There is no need to rush. I believe it will have the same effect on you, as it did on me!
*(P.S. I’ll be loading the TRUST CHALLENGE asap. Had some technical difficulties with that. For now, take the time to consider your TRUST relationship with God. AND, if you would, please share how God has or is teaching you to trust Him.)