How much do you trust that God is with you?
We all like to think we trust Him completely, that is until we hit the bumpy side of the life’s road like when we send our resumes to dozens of companies and wait for weeks to hear from them, if we hear from any of them at all; or when we get that new job only to discover we’ve moved to a situation that’s even worse than where we were. How about when we spend time interceding on behalf of a loved one who’s sick only for the doctor to tell us that they are not going to get well; or when our car is totaled in an accident and the person that hit us doesn’t have car insurance? What about when our loved one passes on and we can’t seem to get our footing; or when we avoid turning on the television so we won’t have to see yet another story about someone else dying; or when the idea of facing the day brings on so much stress that we literally cannot breathe? How much do we really trust that God is with us then?
Believe it or not, it’s during times like these when God proves himself to be our Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is There”, but because we cannot see Him operating on our behalf, we believe we’re abandoned, left to figure out how to navigate on our own. And once we feel abandoned, then we become angry with God and act out saying, “I can do this by myself. I don’t need you,” before we try to handle our own business. In doing so, we forget to pray, we forget to trust, and we forget to believe our omnipotent God has our back.
So, you know this type of behavior is selfish, right? It’s selfish because it’s centered on what we believe God should be doing for us, in the timing we need these goals to be accomplished. We want God to do what we need him to do fast, and with minimal sweat equity on our part. We want the harvest without the toil, the sweet life without bitters, but this is not how God operates. It is in the struggle that our faith is built, in difficult times when we learn to how to lean on God, when we’re dealing with disappointment, grief, and despair that we surrender all to the Lord because we discover He knows the way out.
In is in these valley experiences where you meet, and begin to depend completely on, Jehovah-Shammah. It is in the low times where you begin to trust God to make a way out of no way, to open doors that were once shut, to place you in a seat at the table. It is when things seem so dire that God performs miracles like exchanging joy for the grief, hope for hopelessness, compassion for callousness. It is during these times that God reveals his purpose for your life, builds your faith, and allows you to use your valley experience to minister to others.
The wonderful reality about God is that he never “leaves nor forsakes” us (Deuteronomy 31:6). God is constant, and He wants you to rely on him, especially when you feel disconnected. It is during the times you feel the furthest from God when he’s the closest to you, carrying you through your valley experience. Jehovah-Shammah will never leave you alone. You are his child. Trust in him.