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Is it hard for you to trust God in difficult times? Frankly, trust does not come easily for most of us, especially when we are asked to believe in something we can’t see. But that is exactly what God asks us to do. He asks us to believe His Word and trust Him in the midst of our trials, even when it looks grim.
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As much as I want to believe God, sometimes it is hard not to waver in my faith. I think God knows this. We are, after all, human and get our eyes off of Him and on to our problems quite often…
That is why I asked God to help me understand the reason He puts us through difficult times. It seems almost cruel to me that he allows so much suffering in this world.
In His sovereignty, God gave me a word picture to help explain things from His perspective.
Strangely, He answered through a squash plant. Weird, I know.
In this post, I am going to help you understand why you can trust God in difficult times. By the end of the word picture, you may finally understand why bad things happen and see it from a difficult perspective.
*I continue the word picture of a garden and talk about composting in a related post. It is a great analogy of how to overcome failure or loss. God can redeem even the worst things that happen to us.
How Do You Trust God When Life Is Hard?
It takes a strong person to trust God in difficult times. Instead, most people ask, “Why me?”
Let me answer with a word picture. It may give you a better perspective from God’s point of view. I know I am not God but just go with me here.
Not too long ago, my sister texted a picture of a nasty squash vine borer; she was doing surgery to remove the bugs. Days earlier, she noticed her squash plant would bloom, but then it would drop its flowers.
Unfortunately, no flowers meant no fruit.
My sister was confused by the behavior of this plant; it looked so healthy. It had a big root at the base, lots of growth, and the leaves were a nice green color. Most of all, the plant was enormous in size.
In fact, it was so big, it was crowding out the other plants on the trellis who were actually producing fruit. Not only that, but it was also sucking precious nutrients.
After a thorough inspection, she noticed a gooey mess toward the bottom of the plant.
Looking more closely, she found the enemy was a squash vine borer. It bored its way into the stalk and was insidiously eating the plant from the inside out.
To make matters worse, it was leaving this disgusting, oozy mess that was actually the borer’s poop.
Since my sister has an organic garden, her choices for dealing with the problem (the enemy) were limited. She could improve the soil, do surgery/pick out the squash borers, or let it die.
Getting Rid of a Difficult Problem
My sister chose to do surgery to get rid of her difficult problem (nasty bugs) because she loved her plants. She was like a mother cleaning up a dirty child who had rolled into a briar patch.
It was very tedious work to cut open the stalk without cutting down the whole plant, but necessary if she wanted to save the plant.
The surgery involved using a sharp knife and tweezers. Once in the stalk, she had to dig around for the squash borers and pick them out one by one.
Then she had to kill the borers so they wouldn’t come back to eat the vine. She squished them. Yuck again.
The surgery was messy. If you look closely, you can see the gooey mess on the utensils.
To make matters worse, it had a horrible smell (borer poop) when she opened up the stalk. It was not a pleasant experience but necessary to save the plant. She pulled out 5 borers in a four-inch span. Wow!
Here is one she found lurking on the ground right by the plant. See how it was camouflaged! How tricky.
Here (look below) is what the plant looked like after she cleaned it out completely. It had a big hole, but there was a better chance the squash plant would live and bear fruit.
After surgery, my sister added more compost to the roots. She will continue to deal with the root problem in the days to come with good soil.
Healthy soil is a long-term remedy for keeping predators away.
Here is an interesting fact: When a plant is weak, it actually attracts predators to come and eat it. This is nature’s way of dealing with a sick plant. Otherwise, we would have millions of decomposing plants sitting around on the ground.
Do You Have Faith In God In Difficult Times?
So what does the squash plant have to do with how we need to trust God in difficult times?
When I looked at the squash vine borer and all the damage it was doing, I understood why my sister decided to cut the plant. It was an act of love to save the squash vine from being pulled up and thrown into the compost pile.
Here is the rub. This is not much different than what God does with us.
He sees when we have been infected by our enemy, Satan (squash borer). If we allow it, the Master Gardener (God) will go in and do surgery.
The knife He uses is usually in the form of a trial. We get cut, and it hurts. In fact, we have a gaping hole.
We think God is being mean to us when, in fact, He is trying to save us so one day we will bear fruit. Unfortunately, we are so blind to his calculated cuts that we don’t see his intentions. All the while we are being eaten alive by our own sins. And wallowing in our own stinky mess just like the vine borer in its poop.
Sadly, it feels like we can’t trust God in difficult times because we only see the surgeon’s hands and all the pain He has caused.
To add insult to injury, we miss the fact that Satan is lurking at our doorstep constantly waiting to do more damage just like the borer who was camouflaged near the roots. In fact, our weakness drew him out.
Oh, if we only had spiritual eyes to see the truth!
The Surgeon’s Heart
If we can just look past the pain to the surgeon’s heart, we will see God, in His love, trying to clean us up. We don’t realize He hurts too just like my sister did when she saw her plant wasn’t thriving. And he has a remedy–good soil (Bible) to keep the enemy away.
After I pondered this situation for a while, I finally decided I could trust God in difficult times. Furthermore, I realized I had judged God without all the facts.
Christianity 101, “Do not judge.” Duh.
The Bible says, For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Cor. 13:12, KJV)
Looking at it from perhaps God’s perspective, I now understand why bad things happen to us. As bad as it feels, there is a good reason for our pain.
What Does the Bible Say About Trusting God In Difficult Times?
Did you know the Bible says to count it all joy when we have a trial (James 1:2-4).
Trust AND joy. That is a lot to ask of a person. Check out these other verses about faith and how to trust God in difficult times.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Psalms 34:17-18 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
Psalm 9:9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
We can trust God in difficult times because He is good. You can clearly see this from the scriptures listed.
How Do You Praise God In Difficult Times?
It is so hard to trust God in difficult times. Moreover, it is even more difficult to praise Him. Many times I play praise and worship music when I am going through a difficult time. It gets my mind off my problems and puts my focus on God.
I worship Him through the trial.
Another thing I do is pray. I love to pray scripture back to God Check out this post. It will help you understand how to do this.
Whatever you do, get the focus off of you and back on God. Realize He is good, and always wants to help you be the best person possible. Many times, He uses trials to make this happen.
How do you trust God in difficult times? Share it in the comments.
Got Family Problems? There is Help!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.