Devotional Diary: Trust

Devotional Diary Trust Many years ago, when I was wandering recklessly in my twenties, I went on a weekend getaway with my best friend far off in the country away from the city’s scurry and bustle.   My friend had invited me to venture off to her family’s little cabin for respite and solace.  I don’t remember much about that weekend except for an experience I had that I will never forget.  It is my constant reminder to trust God, and I believe He meant for that day to linger in my heart for the rest of my life.

As I often ruminate over this and that, when and why, where and how…I call to Him and He answers by bringing me back to the powerful lesson learned on that Divine Day.Before I share what happened, let me tell you how it came to be…

Throughout my life, I have learned to cope with pain and brokenness by escaping away and desperately seeking God.  When I was a child, I would leave my home when it got bad, riding my bike as far away as possible to find solace in God’s Presence.  I would walk or run or bike anywhere to “get away” and beg for God’s Healing Hands on my heart.  This became my habit, and continues to this day.

Walking is my refuge.  My getaway…

During some painful years, I would flee- I whimpered, screamed, cried out, begged and pleaded for God to come near…  Oh how I needed Him.  I look back on so many of those times and I still can feel such an intense passion for those escapes that saved me.  Some of those critical pieces of my past are forever etched into my heart and my soul.  They define the depths of where I go, and where God never leaves me.

This pattern began early on, and has grown into a way of life for me.  I go when I am desperate, and I go when I need to calm down.  I go to replenish and to restore.  I go to search for His Guidance and His Comfort.  I go to find Wisdom and ways to grow my faith and feed my soul.  I go to reconnect and remind myself that God is ever-present and God is whom I seek.  I go to reflect on pivotal moments, seeking purpose in my life.

I go…

So I planned to go for one of “my walks” the morning before we left from our weekend getaway.  I wanted to find my place in the countryside and do “my thing”.

The landscape called me.  I needed to go.

On my walk I prayed and dug deep and opened my heart to God with my soul-quenching thirst for Him.  As the hillside and endless terrain beckoned me, I wanted more.  There were miles and miles of pure breathtaking endlessness, in the midst of the dewy morning air.

As always, I opened my heart to hear God. I poured out my pleas and listened for a response in the sweet solace of silence. 

And as I grew deeper in my passionate pace, I asked for a sign of His presence.  I longed for evidence to solidify this moment in this sacred paradise.

“Lord, I want to see a magnificent deer.  Show me that you are here by sending me a deer as a token of your love for me.”

I walked and walked.  I searched and searched.

No deer.

I kept looking and praying.  “Lord this isn’t some huge favor to ask, I mean deer are EVERYWHERE in the morning!   C’mon now… just one deer to show you are here with me.”

No deer.

I started to slow down and my heart grew heavy, but I couldn’t give up.  I just knew He would show me something.  He always does. My twenty-something fervor was relentless…

I walked and walked.  I searched and searched.

No deer.

As I grew tired and weary of the fight for faith, I headed back in disappointment and defeat.

Where was He?

My friend and I packed up the car and started to head out on the long winding road, driving slowly around the bend.

And there they were.

A mama deer and her fawn.

I screamed for my friend to “STOP THE CAR!!!”  She immediately pulled over and caught her breath.

I just stared in silence.

This precious sight was right on the side of the road.  Not just one deer, like I asked… but two.  Not just any deer either.  A mama and her babe.  It was more than I asked for.  They didn’t run away.  They just stayed and grazed and looked up at us, and in that moment my heart melted.  My soul opened wide and took in what I longed for and needed to see.  My faith was restored.  I was blessed.

“Thank you.”  I whispered.

But with that incredible relief, I immediately felt a pain in my heart that tugged on my spirit… I felt Him whisper.

“I was there, but I wanted you to believe…without seeing.”

I wonder if God was sad that day.  I believe He wanted my faith to be strong enough to not have to test Him.  Could He have hoped my belief would withstand His test?  Was He waiting for my heart to hold true to His Promise, and not diminish in my merciless request?  He watched me fall, and fail in faith.

And yet, my Gracious God gave me what I needed.  He delivered.

But all He wanted, was for me to simply trust the Deliverer.

God never leaves us where we are.  Over twenty years have passed since that beautiful Divine Day.   And I will never lose the enlightenment of that resounding lesson in belief.  When I find myself wanting, reaching, and wishing for a sign of His Presence…

I remember the vision of those deer on the side of the road every time.  And I choose to honor my Heavenly Father with belief in the unseen.   Like a good parent does, He taught me well.  Not by punitive punishment, but by loving grace.

And He continues to do so, over and over again.

John 20:29

29 Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    A beautiful story.

    I’ve been reminded this week, in little things. I run the creche at my church, and some of my team members have been on at me to get lanyards to distinguish the ‘official’ helpers from the parents who stay around.

    But I’ve been dragging my heels for months, and it’s just felt like the straw on the camel’s back I can’t be bothered with. But the other week I committed to actually doing something about it. And didn’t.

    Then the church secretary emailed me to let me know that they had some extra badges, and would I like them for creche, and would I like them on lanyards or pins?

    Just WOW! A tiny thing, but an epic reminder that I’m being looked out for.

    • says

      OMGOSH I LOVE THAT STORY!!!! Oh, how cool. Just so cool. 🙂

      Perhaps God knew your intentions, and decided to take care of things for you, knowing full well you needed the blessing! That is simply AWESOME Lizzy!

      What kind of church do you go to? I am so curious!! LOVE that you are so invested in it- what a beautiful place to find love and support, eh?

      • says

        It’s just a bottom-of-the-rungs Anglican church. Very into mission and transforming our community, less hot on ‘Tradition’ and ‘Doing Things Right’ – we’re just ordinary people.

        It’s lovely though, with a wonderful sense of community and heart for other people.

        • says

          I don’t believe there is such a thing as “bottom-of-the-rungs” church! And I am sure God doesn’t view it that way either. Just a hunch. 🙂 A church with ordinary people with a heart for others… I believe that is EXTRAordinary, my friend!! XO

  2. says

    That was so beautiful! It is hard for the human to comprehend what we can’t see. It is one of the greatest things we can do when we see with our heart and soul and not with our eyes.

    I hope you are having a blessed Sunday.

    • says

      I just love that Carla! “It is one of the greatest things we can do when we see with our heart and soul and not with our eyes. ”

      YES YES YES.

      I am so glad you came by and shared that. Thank you, friend. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you so much dear friend!!! I think it will always be my greatest challenge in life- to trust in things unseen. We can encourage each other in this!! XO

    • says

      Oooooooh!! I love that mom!!!! We truly must look beyond the confines of ourselves, our limits, our perspective… and trust in His Presence, His Plan, His Will be done.

      AMEN mama! XOXO

  3. says

    What a beautiful post – and so beautiful to have been given the gift of 2 deer ! It is so hard to trust and have faith, and we often seek signs. I have found that when I just trust, the answers usually come and are so much more plentiful than I could have imagined!

    • says

      I love that God has blessed you in your belief, Leah!!! I really think He delights in our faith, I waver back and forth constantly- from my ‘human condition’ of questioning to trusting His Promise and Presence.

      But God is patient with me!! So grateful for that. 🙂

    • says

      Oh did I EVER want to see that deer!! It seriously would have just been so PERFECT for my morning of such powerful prayer- but God always has perfect timing, and seeing them after the fact was even more significant for me after all. 🙂

  4. says

    Another great post/reminder. Sometimes, in the darkest moments of my life, when I so want to know in a tangible way that He is really with me, that’s when it is required of me to trust. simply, complexly, utterly…

    • says

      Oh how I know, Laurie!!! Those desperate times you just are clinging to anything tangible to give you hope in Him!! I think sometimes He likes us there, so He is the ONLY thing we can hold on to…”that’s when it is required of me to trust. simply, complexly, utterly…” Exactly, my friend. 🙂

  5. says

    WOW. What an incredible post Chris. I was mesmerized reading about your experience and how it taught you to trust. Beautiful in every way my friend. And just what I needed to read this morning. Thank you.-Ashley

    • says

      Oh Ashley- you don’t know how much your comment touched my heart!!!! I love it when God speaks to us through someone else’s words/story/experience.
      And I love how open your heart ALWAYS is and how you ALWAYS truly take in every word I ‘give’… I treasure that more than you know. XO

  6. says

    “We walk by faith, not by sight” is a phrase I have to repeat over and over again when I want to see a sign. I LOVE getting the signs that He is here with me. It’s so very hard when we are searching not to have something tangible to hang onto. I get that and I am so happy that you saw the deer. He taught you in the most gentlest of ways. I love that.

    • says

      I just love that AnnMarie!!! “We walk by faith, not by sight”- AMEN

      I think I will always struggle to trust without tangible signs- it’s simply a human condition that I battle constantly!! I am so grateful God is patient with me!!

  7. says

    I laughed out loud imagining you yelling “Stop the Car!!!” But I know what you mean. I had a similar experience once, in a small chapel where I swear God was with me. It was an amazing experience. I love being out in nature and feeling the closeness to God that is difficult to feel other places. Wonderful post.

    • says

      I TOTALLY screamed and freaked my friend out!!! I was absolutely STUNNED!! I always squirm a little writing about those incredibly intimate moments, because they always sound so sappy- but I just love that you get it. There is something just so wondrous and powerful when you are in “it” with God.

      SO glad you stopped by, during such a crazy busy overwhelming AMAZING TIME in your ‘career’ Alexa!!! So happy for YOU, my friend!! XO

  8. Tammy says

    Yes Chris! Isn’t there something so cool about seeing deer, especially if they don’t run away and you get to take in the beauty and grace God created them with. I have a similar precious memory. Mine was a bee. A teeny, tiny little bee that visited me every morning the summer I read The Shack. It would come only briefly every day and hover over my book as if to see what page I was on, wink at me and leave. My little Bee Buddy. I truly believe this was a gift from God, a tangible reminder that He is always thinking of me and of His constant presence. Of course there were those times when I would be approaching the end of my reading for the day and no bee. I found myself disappointed in those times – at first. But he DID always come, many times later rather than earlier. So I stopped feeling disappointed, I just waited, and he showed up. God often brings this precious memory to traipse through my thoughts and remind me that He still is, and always will be, with me. I just need to remember, rest, and receive.

    • says

      I am picturing you out in your back yard reading and having those precious Godly visits from this little bee!!! Such a sweet and intimate story of His Love for you, Tam!!! He has such a beautiful way of making His Presence so personal… He’s SO good like that!!

    • says

      Thanks so much honey!!!! And you as well- always trusting that His Presence is true and His Promise is and always will be fulfilled!!!

      It means so much to me that you stop by to read my words, and share your beautiful insights Meredith! Truly, my friend. I adore you. XO

  9. says

    Awesome post. I love that scripture too. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes our faith wavers just because we don’t see what we want when we want it? But He always delivers. I guess that’s why it’s so important to trust Him. It’s important not to put our faith in the circumstance, but in the God of the circumstance. Thanks for this wonderful reminder

    • says

      AMEN to that Hope!!! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE that- ” It’s important not to put our faith in the circumstance, but in the God of the circumstance.”

      I am constantly reminded that God wants me to not worry so much about Him Delivering- but He wants my full attention on The Deliverer!!

  10. says

    Hey Chris! I love how He ever so gently brings us back, even when we don’t get it right. Those times are forever etched in our minds as a reminder that He’s always there for us! Love your constant pursuit of our Lord my friend! As I read your post, it brought to mind the song…”As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee”. You are an inspiration my friend! Thanks for sharing such a great story! Love you lady! 😉

  11. says

    Another beautifully written post.
    Sometimes it is hard to believe in the unseen — but he is always with us, whether he answers our prayers in the way that we hope or not.

    Sent you an email the other day — you won the Pirate book giveaway! 🙂

  12. says

    What a beautiful story, Chris. I think we often spend so much energy asking for what we want and expecting to get it immediately that we forget to slow down and just trust that everything will work out.

    • says

      Yes, too many times Jen!! I constantly crave tangible evidence to know He is there in it all, when He simply wants me to TRUST He always is. 🙂

      I know His ultimate goal is have us believe HIM, so He will show us this truth through our circumstances every time.

  13. says

    LOVE THIS!!! You are so awesome at capturing the very essence of our souls….this past month I have been wrestling with some decisions and needing answers and looking about me for those “signs,” those answers that would help better direct me….requesting visible concrete forms that I can sink my teeth into and or indications that would reveal and confirm His presence and that I am not alone. You are right. We don’t need the visible to know He is there yet we ask Him for those signs of comfort…and is ever so gracious and patient with us or what? I think He understands our hearts yet to your point, wants us to just believe and to live by faith, not by sight (2Cor 5:7) He wants us to put our faith forward, step and trust in all we are doing without the “signs.” He is the sign! He is enough. THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful, awesome story, friend!

    • says

      Oh Linda- I just LOVE your comment my friend!!!! You are always a breath of fresh beautiful wisdom, through your words and His.
      Thank you for blessing ME through your precious comment. 🙂

    • says

      I am starting to realize (through Beth Moore, my latest hero) that God’s goal isn’t about our circumstances being blessed, it’s about us truly trusting Him and coming closer and closer to His Holy Presence. It’s so difficult in our human condition, to only pursue Him- and not worry about the rest. But that my friend, is His ultimate plan. 🙂

  14. says

    wonderful post & reminder… I’m not patient, I need patience, it is not one of my virtues, I’m a diva, I want it now, I know it isnt my will it’s God’s, but, constant struggle for me… BTW- my daddy was a Methodist minister who passed in ’02 from melanoma at age 46, I’m a wild PK & the middle child & I’m the last daughter so I’m baby girl (last girl for my Daddy) so I am a diva!!! LOL xoxo

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