When I was a young teen I bought a christian poster which said ‘trust me’ next to a roaring tiger. The image stuck with me for years especially after watching C.S Lewis movies that depict God as a wild lion. But what does it look like to trust in God?
We all know the verse in Proverbs 3:5-7;
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight’ (New International Version.)
About four years ago during a prayer time I saw a vision of a mysterious and winding river with banks on each side. I knew instinctively that God was speaking to me about His holy will. That His will can look like a river where we can’t see around the corner. That His river had a current and that He was inviting me and all his children to let go of ‘control’ and let his current and more so, his love carry us.
What God later revealed to me was that my choice to be in his river and submit to his will was holy and that it would take me to the places he destined for me, the people I was called to serve and impact and love. The river would even take me to destinations that I was called to go.
He convicted me right then and there: ‘Liana you don’t ever want to be stuck on the banks. It’s far better to be in My river. To be in My will.’
Then I was reminded of the invitation into God’s river described in Ezekiel 47. God wants us to be no longer ankle-deep, knee deep or waist deep but instead in full immersion and surrender to Him and this requires trust.
Let's be real here, trust is sometimes really hard. Over the last few years I have been learning how to trust God, one moment and day at a time and I have realised just how much trusting God is a daily and moment by moment choice that we have.
God has been kindly teaching me about how to rest in his love, his good and unchanging character, his word and the fact that he cannot lie.
Just like any student learning a new thing, I have fallen down, lost sight of trust and probably royally stuffed up this lesson about 100 times a day. But I also know God is helping me at the deepest place of my heart to trust him with the big things of my heart.
I had a further vision of God’s river one day and this time I saw myself floating on my back in total shalom, as I was carried down His river in an obvious state of bliss of being in God’s presence. This was vastly different to the first image of being swept down his current. This time there was a peacefulness over the image as I literally rested on my back and floated on God’s love, with no apparent worry of where God was leading me or how fast I would get there. I was just enjoying God’s love and presence.
What I am saying is that we are all invited to let go and enter into a deeper rest.
The hebraic year right now is 5782 and according to Bishop Dominique Bierman a messianic jew, the message for this hebraic year is to ‘shmita’ meaning to release and let go. We are invited this year (beginning in September just gone) to shmita everything to God afresh and choose to rest in His love and perfect wisdom.
For me, I did a practical act to signify that I was choosing to shmita or let go of everything to God. You see, my journey has been very stretching and challenging in that my husband and I would love to have children and we have been promised children from God, somehow in His timing. The thing is that it has been 12 long years of waiting and praying and crying out and we are still waiting.
So, my practical act of my shmita to God was to give away to a dear pregnant friend, one of the only three baby clothes I had left, that I had saved for 8 years for my own promised child. It was a pink onesie which said ‘heaven sent’ and had angel wings on the back.
As I wrapped it up with a handwritten letter of blessing and then handed it over, I found it to be quite freeing. I found that entrusting God with all that is dear to me was freeing me to go to a deeper place of rest in Him. For if we are no longer holding onto something then it can be fully in the hands of God alone. The maker of heaven and earth and the one with all creative miracle working power anyway.
Was it easy for me? No – but it wasn’t without shedding a few tears but this is what I want to share with you all though, trusting God is a choice everyday. We get to choose the way of a lighter path by giving every concern and prayer to Him.
God once told me that the single hardest thing for his children to do is to trust him completely. Many of us know that God is good and loves us so much, but we struggle with trusting God with the unknown. But what I am slowly learning is that we are finally out of the way when we have truly let go to God. That when we are not clutching things so tightly, God can move in His timing and holy, higher ways.
I was led to Hebrews 11 this morning on the importance of having faith in the unseen. Some of us have horrific circumstances that we are facing and in what we can see around us, things do not look good. This is really difficult and can really weigh on the heart and it can make it seem so difficult to trust in God’s goodness, love and that he has our very best at heart. I know that I have had many days where the choice to trust God has been super hard and has felt out of reach. On those days I gave way to the sadness and despairing of heart and knew that my God would catch all my tears in his bottle.
However despite feelings, we are all called to put our faith in God. We are not the potter, God is and only He can know exactly what incredibly amazing potential lies within our being and what he can shape us into, through us choosing to praise him and trust him even through difficult circumstances. What intricate beauty is carved on our hearts for all to see by the potter in response to our love for him? What depths of character and unique shape and design is he creating, so that when we go through fires we will not crumble and we will be able to carry his glory into the nations?
So if you listen you will hear his resounded voice, like many waters saying ’Trust me’, as he sings and roars over us with his love.
The lyrics to one of my raw songs may inspire some of you.
My pain is real / my loss is real but so is the trust I have in You.
Your promises / are sealed with your blood and you are faithful to fufill.
You know our desires / you see our hearts and with tender love you help us to trust.
You’re faithfully / expanding us, enlarging our tent for your glory.
I am yours, more than ever. Loss only draws me closer. I am yours.
For what we cannot see / is You behind the scenes / working and weaving Your goodness through.
And like a flower beginning to bloom / Your birthing Your glory as we trust in You.’
Liana is a passionate and creative soul, living in South Australia and married to her artist husband of 12 years, Justin. Liana is an early childhood educator and also writes, sings, occasionally dances, loves nature, is a psalmist and runs a women's ministry.