“Trust me. I promise I’ll go easy on you if you are nice to me,” implored my young son.
As a family, we enjoy playing games together, especially cards. This particular game required that I give him three of my cards in return for three of his…a risky endeavor, never knowing if what you’d receive would be worse than the medicine you dished out.
I agreed with my son’s pleas to be kind, only to be met with some of the worst cards in the deck as a thank you for my acquiescence. He laughed while I was left aghast.
Unfortunately for him, that little childhood maneuver meant that in successive games, I could not and would not trust his promises again, for he hadn’t shown himself to be trustworthy. A valuable lesson indeed, and one that we’ve gone back to in order to help him determine if friends and acquaintances and even teachers are trustworthy.
God has been wooing me into a deeper trust walk with Him for quite some time. This trust walk has often been more like an ungraceful stumble on a balance beam, many times falling off and returning to try again, than a comfortable Sunday afternoon saunter.
He knows my heart and He knows my wounds. He knows in whom I have mistakenly placed my trust before only to be hurt…and He hurt for me. If only I had kept my eyes only on Him and trusted Him. He would have saved me from that wounding.
He knows my longing to go deeper with Him, and He knows my hesitancy and my fear. He knows that it would be a beautiful thing for me to trust Him more fully and in turn know Him more deeply.
And He knows my reluctance. For in trusting Him more, it requires I show Him more of me…the parts of me I don’t let anyone see. The parts of me I don’t even like to see.
The thing about fear is that it has to do with self-protection, but when self-protection is our goal, there’s no room for faith in God. And in that self-protection, we stay alone because we aren’t willing to invite others, including God, in.
God has not given us a spirit of fear. Instead He has given us power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear is not of God, but rather, it is a direct attack from the one who does not want us drawing close to God or knowing His truth.
The reality is, I am really powerless to protect myself. Just as I was powerless in the card game with my son: I could plan but I could not control how others behave or respond to me. So self-protection to a large extent is fruitless.
What I really need is a sure protector. The only one who can be that for me is God. That sounds like a pretty convincing argument to let down the protective walls and trust Him.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” (Psalm 9:10)
“But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me” (Psalm 13:5).
Joyce Meyer has said, “The longer we try to take care of ourselves, the less we’re gonna experience the outrageous blessings of God in our life. It is so much fun to stop trying to take care of yourself and let God go to work in your life. And if you’ve never done it, today it’s time for a change.”
In what area might you need to give up trying to protect yourself and let Him be your protector?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.