Trying to find my balance…and the testing of my faith?

I started exercising regularly at the beginning of the New Year. It wasn’t really a resolution, but I’m proud to say that it’s almost March, and I’m still going strong. I’ve been consistent, even through days when I wasn’t at all motivated to get moving, and it’s helped me feel better physically and even emotionally.

The other day I was doing some exercises that required a fair amount of balance and coordination, two things of which I do not have much. I laughed as I slowly started to lean to one side and caught myself before falling. When it happened a second time, I got frustrated, and my furrowed brow didn’t help as I continued trying to perform the exercise and angrily declared my lack of balance to the walls.

You know, I don’t notice my lack of balance unless it’s being tested. I mean, I have no problem remaining on my feet as I walk around throughout the day, but ask me to walk across a balance beam and I probably won’t make it to the other side…or to do a standing quad stretch that requires being on one leg, and I’ll eventually tip over.

Balance – an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

I learned something recently. Or maybe I already knew it, but it just suddenly became more of a revelation. I don’t see my lack of faith and trust in God either, until my faith is being tested. Sometimes it proves strong, but other times I come to the sobering realization that I’ve actually been relying on something other than Jesus to keep me upright and steady.

…Please tell me I’m not the only one.

This whole learning to trust God thing is way more consistent in my life than my workout regimen. Seriously. I’m sure if you look back in this blog, I’ve written about it several times, and I wonder if I’ll ever get it? …If at some point it will finally come naturally. Because, if I’m being truly honest, my natural tendency is to trust myself. Ask my husband. I like to be independent, rely on myself. In essence, I like to avoid the testing of my faith at any and all cost. I make it appear as though I’m trusting God, when in reality, I am trusting the systems I’ve created to make it so I don’t really have to trust him. And then when things go all haywire…I still get a little perturbed with my heavenly father.

And I thought I was rational!

Go ahead, shake your head. I am. I’ve also got my palm to my face.

Why is it so difficult?! God proves himself trustworthy in my life over and over and OVER again. What I know of God should make it easy to surrender my self-righteous independence and trust my life, my finances, my husband, my future, my step son, my family, my ministry, my hopes and dreams and everything else in his hands.

I’ve been kind of wrestling with this for a while now, and the following is something I said in a very emotional outburst the other day.

“God, I can trust you, but trusting you doesn’t mean that something bad won’t happen, and that’s what I’m afraid of!”

It kind of came out of nowhere, but it came straight from the heart. And unfortunately, it only reveals the true state of affairs within me. I struggle with constant fear that something bad is going to happen, and it’s embarrassing how quickly and easily I can come up with the worst-case scenario in any given situation. Would you believe I never really realized until now how paralyzing that’s been? I wonder how much I’ve missed out on trying to protect myself from pain and failure instead of trusting God to come through.

The kind of faith and trust that the bible demands of us, is one that remains, period. A trust that knows that bad things can happen and perseveres anyway because, without it, there is nothing to keep us standing upright in the midst of trials AND success.

So what’s the answer? Back in Sunday school and youth group, the answer was always Jesus. But that’s a little too passive. The answer is that I need to take responsibility to seek Jesus more and stop second-guessing who he says he is. I’ve been a Christian since I was six years old. I’ve worked in missions for nearly 12 years, and I STILL need a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, and that’s not his fault! Now, I know that my relationship with Jesus will be a lifetime thing, and I’ll never know all there is to know about him. But if deep down inside of me there remains an uncertainty that Jesus will be enough to keep me standing upright if the worst of my fears comes true, I need to repent and get to work.

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

This is not where I was going with this when I started writing. Like, not at all! However, God spoke to me a lot as I was writing, and I pray that you too are encouraged to seek Jesus more. He truly is the only thing that can hold us up in all of life’s circumstances, and we need to be fully convinced of that.

“But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.” Hebrews 10:39 [NLT]

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