It’s an experience which most of us will recognize. Especially when we need it most, it’s more difficult than ever to trust God. When everything is going well it’s way easier to trust God or at least to tell ourselves that we do so.
Even in the Bible we find many examples of people who wrestle with fear and trust. Take Peter, confidently he gets off the boat to walk on the water towards Jesus , but then doubts and fear arise… Or take the writers of the Psalms, again and again they call out to God ‘Will you save us?’ or ‘Have you forsaken us?’
So our experience isn’t unique or strange, and maybe these examples could even help us to discover how we can trust God and rely on Him in the midst of our fears. When we look at the examples in the Bible this seems to have everything to do with our focus and what we’re looking at. As soon as Peter focusses on Jesus, the confidence and trust arise to walk. Probably his fear wasn’t gone immediately and maybe it was still a tentative trust, but as soon as his focus shifts from the dark, deep water under his feet to Jesus who is before him he is able to walk.
The same is true for the writers of the Psalms. In the difficult situations they find themselves in they cry out to God. The psalms are full of laments, questions to God and calls for justice. Using firm words and claims… yes, even the cry “My God, why have you forsaken me?”. But the addressee of their lament and call for justice is constantly God, and that tells something. For in the midst of everything there is still the hope and confidence that God listens and that he is able to offer an answer and help.
And that’s exactly what we may do as well. While crying out or with our doubts and questions that are still present, we can bring our fears before God. That’s vulnerable, absolutely. For it means that we have to face our fears or the realization that we cannot fix it ourselves. But exactly in this vulnerability a space is created where God can come to us, to answer and touch us.
Maybe you have no idea how to begin or how to do this. In that case it can help to do it together, to speak with someone else about this, to listen to one another and stimulate each other to take time for prayer and reflection. God gave us to one another with a purpose. And just when you don’t know how, it can be very encouraging to look beyond your own point of view or horizon, and to hear stories and see examples of people who in the midst of everything that happens to them continue to trust in God. Looking at these example can give us the courage to try it ourselves.