Several years ago, while leading a short-term mission team in South Asia, I heard an expression that made a deep impression on me. After our morning briefing, I dismissed our team members and their translators to begin their assigned work in remote villages. One of the national translators said, “I have never done anything like this before, so I am attaching my trust to you today.”
I immediately paused and thought about the many times I had hitched a trailer to the back of my truck. When you hitch a trailer to a truck, the trailer must go wherever the driver of the truck desires to take it. “I am attaching my trust to you” is a great way to express what it means to trust another.
Forty-seven years ago I attached my trust to Christ. He has led me to places I never thought I would go and through seasons I never wanted to go through, but He has never disappointed me. Through it all, I have learned that God is indeed trustworthy.
Trusting God is one of the greatest challenges of the Christian life, primarily because we are so easily tempted to lean on our own understanding. So, how do we attach our trust to God?
Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses — “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” This verse encapsulates the secret of attaching our trust to God.
The advice to “be still” runs contrary to our human nature. It’s our human nature to instinctively strive whenever we encounter difficulties in life — to wrestle and struggle and calculate and contrive to whatever extent we feel necessary in order to handle things. Striving often leaves us feeling frustrated and robs us of the opportunity to see what God can do.
The words “be still” or “cease striving” mean “let your hands drop” or “let go.” God will not put His hands on a difficulty until we take our hands off.
When we let our hands drop and get out of the way, then God will put His hands on the situation and work in such a way that will lead us to know that He is indeed God.
Here are four things to keep in mind the next time you find yourself dealing with life’s difficulties.
First, whenever we encounter a difficulty we must let our hands drop or release it into the care of the Lord. Psalm 37:5a states, “Commit your way to the Lord.” Psalm 55:22 declares, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” In 1 Peter 5:7 we are invited to “[cast] all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”
To “commit” or to “cast” is an act of releasing — of letting our hands drop. Whenever we encounter a difficulty we should first take the matter to the Lord and release it into His capable hands.
Second, we must rely upon the Lord. Psalm 37:5 declares that we must first “commit” and then, “Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Proverbs 3:5 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Whenever we encounter difficulties, the temptation to strive and to lean on our own understanding is great. However, we must act contrary to our human nature, release the matter into the hands of the Lord, and then rely upon Him to guide us in the resolution of the matter. Such a resolution may require activity on our part or a great deal of patience. We must be prepared for both.
Third, we must relax. This is not a reference to inactivity or unconcern. Rather, it is a reference to waiting upon the Lord to work things out in His time. Psalm 27:14 declares, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Waiting is difficult for us to do. We do not like waiting. We abhor lines at the traffic light, at the grocery store, or wherever we have to queue up. Our society is geared to taking the wait out of life. Everything is becoming faster by virtue of rapid technological advances.
As much as we dislike waiting, waiting is important in our spiritual lives. We cannot hurry-up waiting! Waiting is a key ingredient in our spiritual formation. And so, once we have released a matter into the hands of the Lord we must rely upon Him to work matters out in His time, which requires that we relax.
Fourth, receive God’s provision or solution or answer. God’s response to the matter will come in due time — in His time. If we will release (commit), rely (trust), and relax (wait), then we will eventually receive God’s response. Receiving God’s response to the matter we released into His care should remind us that He is God and that He is worthy of our trust. We experience growth in our understanding of God when we commit our difficulties and impossibilities into His care and trust Him to faithfully deal with each one.
Remember, there is absolutely no situation that we can release into His care that can baffle Him. God knows exactly what to do with every conceivable issue of life.
So, the secret to successfully dealing with life’s difficulties is to release (commit), rely (trust), relax (wait), and then receive what God has for us. And then — remember to continue releasing everything into His hands. So, let your hands drop!