November 2015 Final Issue
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Tis So Sweet To Trust

I am humbled today. Humbled at the fact that the same God who tells the seas where to stop and who commands the morning sun to appear loves me with an everlasting love. The same God that laid the foundation of the earth and stretched out the surveying line says I am His and seeks me out when I have lost my way. This same God who sends the rain to satisfy the parched ground and makes the tender grass spring up from its soil gave me a life created in the image of His son Jesus and tells me I am good. Yet, if I am truly honest with myself, I still struggle at times to trust the God who spoke the universe into existence.

Trust is a tricky thing. It seems we either trust in something or not. Breaking trust is as simple as dropping a precious vase and never quite being able to piece it back together and restore it to its original state. Many of us live with a deep wound that did exactly that: broke our trust. Who is it for you? A friend? A husband, a wife? Your father or mother? How about a particular situation that caused you to lose trust in God? Whatever it was, its intention was to build a wall and keep you from living a joyful life. The life God intends us to live. The abundant life that keeps us longing for heaven yet uses our time wisely here on earth. But living a life that God  intends is not that easy. God never promised it would be. But what He does say is to trust in Him fully. Is this possible?

This past summer, my son Logan wanted to get a hamster. I was not enthusiastic about having a rodent around the house, but I thought back to when I was a kid. I had several beloved animals. Not all survived, but it was a good experience for me. So we went to the pet store and brought the cutest hamster home. We named her Charlie. She was adorable. She loved being held and playing with all of Logan’s friends. It seemed this little critter could not have been more perfect. But I will never forget the night when my son ran out of his room crying. I looked at his bewildered eyes and watched big tears roll down his cheeks as he held his bleeding hand up to tell me that Charlie, the kindest hamster on the planet, bit his finger. I was instantly upset. The idea that my son’s trust with his new furry friend would now be broken would surely require days, maybe even months of healing. Would he ever forgive Charlie? As I washed his tiny wound and placed a Band-Aid on his finger, he told me he didn’t like Charlie anymore.

We can be the same way can’t we? When somebody or something fails to meet an expectation or breaks a promise, it violates our trust, and we instantly feel the sting of betrayal. Emotionally we are scarred and wounded. We sometimes become cold with no emotion. We carry such bitterness and anger toward that person or circumstance and live a life in a bubble, keeping people at a distance. Most of us don’t realize we do this.

I am almost embarrassed to admit, at times, I have chosen to live in this bubble. Even now as I am writing, I harbor a deep insecurity about trusting people. I cannot count the number of times  I was let down or demoralized by somebody in my life, by people I trusted, and by those who had no clue who I was. It seemed pretty clear that my mind was programmed at an early age to believe the majority of people will let you down. Most will give you a reason to not believe.

Then I was introduced to Jesus: the Son of the living God who walked the earth and felt all the rejection and hurt I have experienced, yet He did not sin. He did not stop communing with God. He sought Him daily and trusted His Father in heaven to supply His every need. The image of God was never clear to me growing up as a non-believer. I often thought of Him as a BIG guy sitting on a BIG throne waiting and listening for me to make a BIG mistake. I later began to understand He was not waiting for me to make a mistake; He was waiting for me to realize my need for Him was greater than any of the mistakes I made. My need for Him was as true as thirsting for water and hungering for food. I just needed to believe His word was truth. I needed to understand He would be faithful and keep His promises. He was different from what I had experienced in the past. Here’s what I discovered:

The God of this world cared enough about me to come to earth as a man to not only show me a sacrificial love when He died on a cross for our sins but also to display to me—and to ALL—His ability to relate to our own struggles and pain. God could relate! That was huge! Jesus experienced catastrophic betrayal from the closest of friends. What agony He must have felt when Peter denied Him. Even though Jesus knew he would! And as He hung on a cross, bloodied and battered, He still forgave. You see, He fulfilled a promise He had made long before. He kept His word. This is when my view started to change about God. I realized God possessed all the attributes of a perfect loving and trusting Father. And the only way this could be true is if He is all knowing, all powerful, always present, truthful, and unchanging. These characteristics had to be true in order for God to be a trustworthy God.

I found He is faithful. Others will disappoint, but when they do, we can bring it to an all knowing, truthful, present, all powerful, and unchanging God and lay it at His feet knowing He will be faithful to us in our obedience.

Most have heard the famous hymn, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.” As I write, this song came to mind. I quickly looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what I found:

According to the story: It was a beautiful sunny day. Louisa M. Stead, her husband, and her daughter Lily, decided to go for a picnic. They went picnicking on Long Island Sound. While having their picnic, the Steads heard a scream. It was from a young boy. Mr. Stead ran to the rescue. Louisa Stead and young Lily watched helplessly as Mr. Stead and the boy drowned. Their troubles were not over yet, however, without her husband, Mrs. Stead became very poor and destitute. Yet God never left her. He provided for her always, and she and her daughter made it through. Louisa learned to trust God, and thus the words to the song ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.’ Shortly after this incident, Louisa and her daughter Lily moved to South Africa where they became missionaries.

The song is included in many hymnals and has been recorded by many artists.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.
O how sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

This song has a powerful message. God provided and supplied her every need. Nothing about her circumstances changed, but God gave her a peace and joy. He gave her opportunities to witness others about His amazing love. That’s the power of the Almighty God. He moves us to become better people. He moves us to serve His kingdom.

He has proven over and over that He can be trusted! Friends, God doesn’t say we will not experience hardships, pain, and disappointments. In fact, we are guaranteed to know hurt well. Whether it be death or betrayal, God wants us to trust Him and rest in His unfailing love and peace. There can be peace and trust in the storms of life.

As for what happened between my son and Charlie… Most children have a heart to forgive, partly because they have not lived long enough to experience many defeats and heartaches to begin building those walls of cynicism. Once Logan was able to forgive Charlie, his trust was slowly rebuilt. Trust is not automatic; it takes time. Soon Logan was reaching into Charlie’s cage and holding her with lots of confidence and less fear.

Even through sorrow, God will be with us to guide us through. He may not always prevent it, but He promises to give an enormous amount of strength from the Holy Spirit who lives in each one of His children. Trusting in His promises and that He will carry us in our time of need is enough for me.

Hold to these promises…

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2, KJV).

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:2, KJV).

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About Anita Winter

Anita Winter
Anita is a wife and mother of four handsome boys and currently resides in Montgomery, AL. She was raised in the San Francisco Bay area where she developed a real love for music, art, and exotic food. Some of her special interests include making a joyful noise to the Lord, writing for her personal blog, HopeBreathes.com, and loving her family as well as the broken people God places into her world.

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