Many people are wondering how to trust God when life is hard and they feel anxious.

Frankly, trust does not come easily for most of us, especially when you’re suffering  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 suffering, even when it looks grim.

This is a big leap of faith for some of us (Me included.) That is why I asked God to show me how He sees things from His perspective. Maybe I would trust Him more if my thoughts were closer to His thoughts.

Oddly, God answered me through a squash plant.

Weird, I know.

In this post, I am going to help you see how to trust God when life is hard.

By the end of the post, you may finally understand why hard things happen, even to Christians. I will be using a word picture to illustrate the idea.

More importantly, you may realize your suffering is not as bad as it seems when you have the 40, 000-foot view.

How Do You Trust God When Life Gets Hard?

It takes a strong person to know how to trust God when life is hard. Instead, most people ask, “Why me?” Or even blame God because He appears to be mean or even cruel.

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. Can you already see the resemblance to our lives?

Flowers, but no fruit. Looking good, but something is wrong. 

trust God in difficult times

Oddly this plant was so big, it was crowding out the other plants on the trellis that were actually producing fruit. Not only that, but it was also sucking precious nutrients from those producing plants.

A very proud plant, indeed…

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 which was close to the root of the plant.

The “monster” 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.

Double gross. 

trust God in difficult times

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.

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How to Trust God When Everything Is Going Wrong

So, everything was going wrong with the squash plant. It was dying. It just didn’t look like it yet. See any resemblance to your life? We are all dying without God’s hand. 

My sister had 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 soiled their pants.

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.

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Then she had to kill the borers so they wouldn’t come back to eat the vine again. 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!

trust God in difficult times

Here is one she found lurking on the ground right by the plant. See how it was camouflaged! How tricky. Satan, anyone?

 trust God in difficult times

Here  (look below) is what the plant looked like after she cleaned it out completely. It had a big hole now, but there was a better chance the squash plant would live and bear fruit since the squash borers were gone.

Even with the hole, it was better off. Catching the double meaning, yet?

 trust God in difficult times

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. So is the Bible.

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 sick plants.

Otherwise, we would have millions of decomposing plants sitting around on the ground that would smell and attract bugs.

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How Do You Trust God When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Trusting God when life is hard takes faith. You must have spiritual eyes to see what is not there in physical form.

Just like the plant, we can stop bearing fruit. We may be big, green, and take up lots of space, but it is all talk (pride).

In reality, the predator, Satan, has bored near the root of our hearts with sin, and we stink.

The problem is that we don’t know it. We look fine.

This is where the Master steps in and cuts out the sin.

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. In turn, we are shocked, even angry.

Unfortunately, we are so blind to the 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.

To add insult to injury, we miss the fact that Satan is lurking at our doorstep constantly waiting to attack us, just like the borer who was camouflaged near the roots.

In fact, our weakness drew him out.

From the ground, it looks like someone came in and dug a hole near the root of the plant just to destroy it. It doesn’t make sense.

We can’t see God’s love involves cutting. (The cross was the biggest cut.)

But when we look at the squash plant as a whole, we see something totally different.

It was actually an act of love (God’s infinite love) to cut into it. This was the only way to save the squash vine from being pulled up and thrown into the compost pile.

Oh, if we only had spiritual eyes to see the truth!

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How to Trust God Completely?

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.

Like a loving father, He will not stand by and let us wallow in our mess forever. He is going to clean us up even though He knows we may blame Him for doing the most compassionate thing at the time.

After I pondered this situation for a while, I finally decided that choosing to believe God and His word is how to trust God when life is hard. It’s a choice of the mind.

Furthermore, I realized many times I have judged God without all the facts because I didn’t believe He was good. Maybe to others, but not me.

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 sometimes bad things happen for a good reason.

This isn’t always the case, but many times we are wallowing in sin and don’t know it.

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4 Steps to Trusting God Completely

So, how do we trust God when life is hard? When we are in the middle of a trial and feel anxious we need to remind ourselves to do these 4 things:

Go back to scripture-go to the Bible daily and constantly remind yourself of who God is and how much He loves you. You can trust the Master Gardener, God, because He is good. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.

Reflet on the past-God gave us a treasure trove of stories in the Bible, so we could see how He worked on behalf of his people long ago. These powerful testimonies remind us of a loving God who wants to do great things for us today too.

These stories are also there to help us increase our faith. He is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. We must believe He can do the same for us however He chooses to move.

Hebrews 11:6

“And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Surrender –God wants us to surrender everything to Him. Understand that there are certain things beyond the scope of our control. Surrendering these matters to God can alleviate stress and anxiety, knowing He is guiding your path.

This is probably the hardest step. Like me, you may want to get in there and control and manipulate the situation. Instead, God asks us to lay our burdens at the cross. Let go.

Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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Serve Others: while you are waiting on God to move, serve others. Being of help to someone else can shift your focus from your own struggles and create a sense of fulfillment.

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And wouldn’t you know it, this is also one of the best remedies for anxiety.

Proverbs 11:25

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

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Look for guidance-look for ways God may be speaking to you. Truthfully, there may be days and days of waiting, until one day, He says, “Go.” Stay close to Him so you don’t miss his signals.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

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Remember that trusting God doesn’t mean that life’s challenges will magically disappear. It’s about truth, remembering what God had done, surrendering, and looking for guidance during your hard time.

Next time you go through a trial, remember the squash plant and trust that even though you can’t see everything, God’s surgical hand is good. He is working on your behalf because He loves you.

Pin it for later!

4 ways to trust God with computer and flowers in the background.

Have you learned how to trust God when life is hard? Share it in the comments.

*I continue the word picture of a garden and talk about composting in the related post below. It is a great analogy for how to overcome failure or loss.

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Julie is a wife, mom, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, and faith with a touch of humor.


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post and very apt analogy. It is VERY hard in trials to wonder what you have done that needs such pruning. But posts like yours through the Holy Spirit help understand- every single one of us is going through that feels unbearable and yet our Lord Jesus Christ carries us through it and it the Father’s heart that prunes is to bear more excellent fruit. I am learning to surrender- learning that ‘thy will’ willl always be better than mine, learning to serve and ‘do good’- smile, have a kind word, not lose my joy and smile in trials n tribulations as that shows I am trusting God Almighty beyond my feelings, thinking, circumstances. He has brought me out of darkness before, He will do it again and as I cling to Him and choose Him in the darkness – He preserves my soul, upholds my spirit and guides me in the way I should go. I pray for wisdom and a humble heart to understand, believe and recieve.

    • Lisa, it is hard to trust God when we see everything around us falling apart. Nevertheless, God is still in control.

  2. Thank you for this. I’ve been struggling so much as a foster parent to the point that I often want to quit. This is so encouraging. I know God is working in me and through me to make me what He wants me to be.

    • Crystal, I am so sorry. I wrote this post when I was knee-deep in a trial with my daughter. I can now look back and say it was the best thing that ever happened. And she would say the same thing. God has a way of using the most horrible situations for good. Keep praying even though it seems like an answer is not anywhere to be found. I highly recommend The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian. My book is worn out. I used the prayers at the end of every chapter every day until I saw strongholds broken. Some of my prayers have taken years to come to fruition. You can do this! God has not left you.

  3. I love it, such profound message. A lot of things have happened recently in my life and I keep asking myself what’s the message God is trying to teach me. I keep telling myself it’s God’s way of testing me and maybe preparing me for something great to come. I know he’s watching out for me. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • Anna, I am so glad this was a meaningful word picture for you. I keep going back to it when I am having a difficult time with something. I know the Master Gardener loves his plants and he wants them to thrive, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when he starts cutting. I guess I would rather have some cutting than being cut down and thrown in the fire because I am useless! Thanks for your comment.

  4. What an inspirational message here! Wow! God spoke to my heart through this. I need to share it. We – as a family – have been going through “surgery” lately. Many times we don’t understand why! and we get frustrated. But then we look up and we say, okay Lord, I trust you. I know you know better. Thank you for sharing this.

    • I am so glad God is using this post to help someone else. I never know if I am the only one getting surgery. Mentally, I have to keep going back to this word picture to understand God’s love. I am one of those that will start whining and wondering where God is in the mess.
      I will pray for grace to help you through your trials. I am so sorry you have been hit. Just know it is God’s love that will hold you through until the end.

  5. We had problems with squash bug in our garden too. very interesting way of connecting it with your faith..:)

    • Nature speaks in ways you can hear when maybe anything directly about God is offensive. Nature certainly does reflect life in so many ways. One has to wonder who is the Designer at some point!

  6. It is amazing how all the truths are all arounds us, literally staring us in the face all the time, but we have to be willing to see it, then understand and embrace in order really learn from it. There are many simple messages, much like this one happening daily, but our lives are too busy and convoluted, to stop and see them, let alone understand or interrupt them. This is why so many of us are so lost and are easily lead astray.

    • Jen, I couldn’t have said that any better. We are busy little creatures who don’t stop and look at the life lessons right in front of us every day.

  7. We must all go through hardships in order to learn and grow. Thank you so much for a wonderful post! Definitely made me think 🙂

    • Yes, every time I start to doubt God’s love, I think about the ways He has worked in the past. His loving hand has always guided me through the terrible heartaches. He is there through the surgery.

  8. What a beautiful, although sometimes painful truth! This has been a year of paring and pruning in my life. It has been painful at times. I have been praying for God to move in one specific area. Everything else I can take, but pressed in asking God to move because I believed it was his will. Yesterday, He did! It is so worth the pruning and paring when we know that God has His best interest at heart for us. Thanks for sharing!

    • What a wonderful thing to celebrate. I am so happy for you. God continues to prune so we have fruit some day. I like the fruit part, but the trail is not so fun for sure!

    • Yes, He is the vine and we are the branches. We get our life from Him. God is working even when we can’t see it. He wants us to have life and produce good fruit.

  9. I’ll admit, I fell out of sycn when you started the analogy, even though I’m a garden lover! But I’m so glad I read this post. I absolutely have been having issues, money and house too. Thank you for the chat about trials, the Lord knows I need to reflect on His purposes in this.

    • Thanks for staying in there with me until the end. It is a long post. I had a lot to explain! I am so sorry about your trials. I pray God will wrap His loving arms around you and you find the meaning behind the pain.

  10. Hi, it was such a blessing reading this post.. We all doubt and murmur when going through the trials without knowing that it is God’s way of showing Love to us. Thank you so So much!

    • Sara, thank you for your comment. I am so glad it blessed you. It is hard not to murmur when trials are upon us. I have to keep reminding myself that God is love. Everything He does runs through His loving hands. He does it with the utmost care and concern. I appreciate you reading this post.

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