I was a teenager when I first heard the verse Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him…” I remember thinking, “How stupid. Why would I trust someone who is trying to kill me?” Yet, Job was making a definitive statement to us about his faith. And his faith still challenges us today. No matter what my circumstances may be, the question remains, “Do I trust Him?” Little did I know, as that teenager, how often I would be asking myself that question.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “trust” as: “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
I think most of us agree that we can trust in God’s ability or strength. He is all-powerful. We have confidence in that. We can also trust that He is truth, but the part that causes us to stumble, amid pain or trials, is God’s character. “Is He good? And if He is good, then why is this happening to me?”
Ironically, it was through one of our greatest trials that I clearly saw the correlation between trust and character. In 2011, at age 6, our son, Camden was diagnosed with leukemia. I watched him endure the continual pain of needles and procedures, the violent sickness that accompanied chemo, and the numerous hospital stays, with grace and acceptance. Why? Because he completely trusted his dad and I when we brought him there. Camden was assured of our love for him. He accepted the fact that we wanted “good” for him. Unfortunately, that “goodness” came with pain, sickness, and almost 4 years of doctors and hospitals. How quick we are to judge God’s goodness when difficult situations arise! Sometimes it seems cliché to say, “We need childlike faith,” yet that is exactly what we need when confronted with the difficulties of life. Our faith needs to be grounded in the truth of God’s character, as our loving, Heavenly Father, knowing that sometimes His goodness towards us may be painful. Camden’s six-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend the “why” of his circumstance, even if we tried to explain it to him, but he could trust us, as Mom and Dad. Maybe you are in a situation where you cannot comprehend the “why” of your life, but I encourage you to trust your Heavenly Father with child-like faith. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God has a plan for our suffering.
Honestly, I have wrestled with some of the verses in the Bible about suffering, namely, the following ones that speak about having joy or rejoicing in our pain. For example, James 1:2-3 tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” How do I have “joy” when facing hardship?
Camden again served as a teacher to our family with this question. Camden ended up extremely sick after every out-patient chemo appointment, to the point where he would have to be admitted to the hospital for dehydration. Finally, Tim and I decided to admit Camden to the hospital for every chemo infusion, in order to preempt the sickness with intravenous, anti-nausea medication. Prior to one hospital stay, Camden said, “Mom, I must be the luckiest boy in the world!” Clearly perplexed, I asked, “Why?” He enthusiastically replied, “Because I get to go to the hospital and play the Wii with Dad!” There it is. The “joy” comes from spending time with our Father.
1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Peter says, “Do not be surprised…” but I must admit, I was surprised in March 2018 when my husband Tim was diagnosed with colon cancer. I kind of thought we had checked the “cancer thing” off our list! Once again, the Spirit of God whispered to me, “Do you trust Me?”
My biggest battle with Tim’s diagnosis was fear. Fear imagines all kinds of scenarios that may or may not happen, but God doesn’t supply grace for our imaginations. He supplies grace for our reality. I had to re-learn that God’s grace is sufficient for each day, and sometimes His strength is supplied for the next breath. The future seems scary at times because we forget to imagine the grace of God sustaining us, as He does in the present. The song, “No Longer a Slave to Fear” ministered to me throughout Tim’s year-long treatment. Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Once again Scripture reminds us, it is God’s presence that causes us not to fear.
Not long ago, I was sharing my life’s story with a friend, and she responded, “I would have lost my faith.” I explained if my faith were only statements of belief that I adhered to, then it would have been shaken; however, my faith is in a Person. He is my Father. I know Him, and He knows me. I have been blessed with two godly examples of fathers in my life…my earthly father, and my husband. Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
God graciously gives us glimpses of His heart towards us, often through others. Recently, our 12-year-old daughter, Lacie, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After her doctor’s appointment, my husband Tim met us for lunch. Lacie was in the back seat of the vehicle crying when Tim arrived. Tim opened the back door, pulled Lacie onto his lap, and cried with her, as he held her. That is the Father’s heart towards us! He holds us in our pain and disappointment, and He cries with us. “Do I trust Him?” Yes! He is a good, good Father! I can echo Job’s words, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him...”
Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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Written by Jill Aho
Jill Aho works as a Realtor and home designer for her husband Tim's business, Tri-Square Contractors, LLC. She is a mom to Allison (22) married to Reagan, Connor (18), Camden (15) and Lacie (13). Jill loves to plan...menus, house plans, schedules, but the thing Jill loves to plan the most are trips, and she doesn't discriminate...weekend trips, domestic travels, international locales, cruises, etc ! If Jill is not currently planning a trip somewhere, it is because she is presently enjoying a trip...Jill has visited over 30 countries, but she is quite sure that is too few!