When Breathing is an Act of Faith

I’ve always had trouble with the idea of trusting in God. What does that mean? It’s such a vague statement. And every time I think I’m trusting God, it seems I’m wrong.

Lately, God has been hammering this home, showing me that I trust and hope in too many things that aren’t him, namely myself and my understanding. More accurately, God has been grinding me into fine powder, along with all my ideas about how the world works.

And I know, I know. I’ve read Proverbs 3:5 and I know what God told Jeremiah about the potter and the clay, but it seems I have a lot to learn.

But as usual, I get plenty of understanding on what is wrong, but nothing on what is right.

I’ve shed many tears lately over my lack of a job, and the steady decrease of money. Well, the money’s finally run out and I have no way to improve it. I thought I did, but that slipped through my fingers. Then I thought I had another option, but that vanished so fast I may as well have been Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny. Slide whistle, symbol crash, audience laughs.

Oh, and both of those happened in the same day.

The NEXT day, the third and final chance I thought I had turned out to be a lie. What can I possibly trust anymore? How can I get excited for anything when so many awesome possibilities have been dashed against the rocks?

 

I’ve danced this dance so often lately, hoping God is coming through in this way or that only to be thunderstruck. How do you trust God when you don’t know what God is doing? 

I pondered this on a walk. No, more like a stomp. An angry surge across town, looking for a bridge to jump off. I’ve been beaten down so many times, I wondered what the point was. If I get up, God will only kick me back down. So why bother?

Family didn’t matter. They were better off without me. I saw no hope in the future. No sunrise would ever peel itself off the horizon. It would stay on the edge, teasing me, tempting me to chase it, and then sink back into darkness.

How do I trust that the sun will rise tomorrow?

The answer was simple: Go home, go to bed, and wake up tomorrow. That’s the only way to know what the future holds.

Sometimes, trusting God is just breathing. It’s walking home instead of jumping into traffic. It’s taking the gun out of your mouth and putting it away, even for a moment.

Faith is believing that tomorrow holds possibilities that you can’t yet see. True, tomorrow may be worse than today, but what about the day after that? God and the law of averages both say the slope has to curve upward at some point.

People who toy with suicide, like me, imagine we know what’s around the next corner. While completely understandable, in a way, it’s almost arrogant. You never know what a day holds. What proof do we have that tomorrow will be like today? Yesterday’s report? Tomorrow isn’t yesterday. You can’t look at it and see exactly what’s in store.

So trusting in God, in this sense, is just living. Believing one day, one minute at a time, that God can act at any second. Not to hope in a particular moment, but in that moment’s possibilities.

That’s why I’m here instead of kissing pavement. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go homeless. Maybe a million dollars will fall in my lap. Who knows? I don’t.

Why am I telling you all this? To beg for pity? To show how righteous I am? Hardly.

It’s because one day you’ll think you know what tomorrow holds. It will make you cocky or hopeless. I can give you no Bible verses because when you’re in that place, the Bible just sounds trite or even insulting. You may not even believe the Bible in the first place.

But my friend, you don’t know what’s around that corner, whether it holds hope or despair. Neither do I. None of us does.

And that’s the point. There is hope in mystery. As the hymn says, many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow. And I know he holds my hand. 

 

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