Doubting Heart: Trusting God When He Seems Untrustworthy
You think to yourself, “Life can’t get much better than this!” Today, the sun beams on your face, the wind blows at your back, and the world is at your fingertips. Everything has fallen into place. Then BAM! The unspeakable happens: you are ambushed by a spiritual attack. You never even saw it coming. Eve had a day like this, and it would be a day that would change the course of human history … forever.
God made Adam and Eve and placed them in Eden where they had all they could possibility want: unrestricted access to God, a perfect relationship with one another, and harmony in all creation. And BAM! Satan interrupts an otherwise brilliant day in the Garden.
Unfortunately, neither Adam nor Eve was prepared for a strategic and deadly assault in paradise. When Satan approached Eve, he asked a seemingly unassuming question. Has God denied her the opportunity to eat from any of the trees in the garden? With that single question, the enemy planted the lethal idea that perhaps God was deliberately withholding something precious from His daughter-
true power and knowledge.
That’s all it takes for us, too – one question of doubt striking our hearts as we stroll through an otherwise glorious day. Of course, we want to enjoy our days, but we would be wise to harbor a healthy awareness that we have a real and present enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
Satan does not always come in an oppressive or fearful way; in fact, he often presents himself as an angel of light who brings a freeing truth: death will surely not come to you if you go ahead and take. Eve didn’t
realize that she was being played. All she knew was that God made her, loved her, and placed her in paradise with an adoring husband. But with all that, she began to think that this same God could not be fully trusted.
The truth, however, is that God’s commandments are always good (Ps. 19:7-9). He never prohibits without a reason, even if He does not share that reason with us. But by doubting God and distrusting His goodness, Eve began to look at the forbidden fruit. She took it, ate it, and encouraged Adam to eat the one thing God restricted from them. The snake’s tail surely rattled as their defiance caused the downfall of the entire human race.
BAM! Sin entered creation.
For many years, I thought that Eve was being absolutely ridiculous. Inwardly, I boasted, “I never would have fallen like that. I’m going to stand firm in the Lord.” But it was only this summer when I realized how easily I could fall, too. Just like Eve!
It was the National Day of Prayer. As the principal of a Classical Christian School, I had set plans for the morning chapel service. My chief administrator had brilliantly organized the entire day, but she was out sick. Naturally, I scrambled to get everything ready. I was tired, stressed, and completely unprepared for a spiritual ambush. Then it happened:
I lost my phone. Not two minutes earlier, it had been in my hands. It was like I was blinded from finding it.
Irate, I began to search for it. I could literally feel my pulse race. My tension, frustration, and yes, anger boiled. Why now? Today of all days! I tore the apartment apart. I knew the phone had to be there. Finally, I blew. I shouted at the only other Person who was there, the One whom I blamed for my own absent-mindedness: God.
“I’m doing all of this for You! I’m trying to put together a prayer chapel for Your children, at Your school, and in Your name! Now, You won’t even show up to help me find a stupid phone? I don’t know why I’m surprised. I can always count on You to fight me when I need you the most!”
As he did with Eve, the enemy waited for an otherwise glorious day to strike. He waited for just the opportune moment to come after me with a laser-focused attack on God’s goodness. Just like Eve, he wanted me to think that my God cannot be fully trusted. Just like Eve, I never saw it coming.
When I got to school, the situation continued. Everything that I needed to work failed-miserably.
As the chapel began , though, the Lord did something to stop me dead in my tracks. Our Student Council President stood up and gave her testimony explaining her conversion from Buddhism. She shared about her transformed life after receiving the Gospel. Her 10-minute testimony blew my 30-minute master plan clean out of the water. As she spoke to the audience, the Lord spoke to my heart.
I had been defiant. I had doubted. I had taken the bait straight from Satan’s vibrating tongue. I guess I am not as far from Eve’s downfall as I imagined. My little plans were not His grand plans, and He was willing to test me, convict me and even shut me down completely, in order to show me exactly that. I didn’t need my phone that morning; I needed to trust God. He did not need my organizational leadership, my cell phone, or me to get His job done. But I needed a good reminding of that.
In spite of my pride and my bad behavior, the Lord gave the students, faculty, and staff an inspiring message through another servant (a child no less). Oh, how easily we can be ensnared by sin’s sneaky suggestions. How quickly we can turn on the One who loves us the most.
Just like Eve, we don’t need extra wisdom; we need to believe in God’s goodness. We don’t need a better day; we just need to obey. In moments of doubt, we need to trust God, even when we do not understand our circumstances.