On a business trip one year, I traveled to Japan for work. I remember sitting there in my hotel room on the 37th floor in downtown Tokyo. As I peered out the huge window gazing upon the sea of buildings and lights, I could see the hints of sunrise off in the distance.
A thought came to my mind as I sat there: Tokyo is famous for earthquakes. If one were to happen right now, this building could easily crumble to the ground, and I could die.
So, I prayed: “Lord, this is kind of scary.”
His words rang through my spirit, “Can you trust me?”
“Yes Lord, I trust you. I trust you with my life and with my death. I trust you with all that I am and with all that I have.” (John 14:1).
The fear melted away.
Just two days before that hotel experience, I had boarded a plane from Dallas to Tokyo. Thirteen hours in a cramped cabin flying 6 miles above the ground at almost 10 times the speed I drive my car could be terrifying. But again I prayed, “Lord, I trust you with all my heart” (Proverbs 3:5).
Away from my family, more fearful thoughts about their safety filled my mind. Again, a prayer, “Lord, I entrust my family to your care. You are more than able to guard them and keep them safe” (2 Timothy 1:12).
Learning to trust God has been the cornerstone to freedom from panic. Anxiety and fear can easily consume my mind when those fearful thoughts are not dealt with. The cycle of “what if’s” can spin wildly out of control. It’s a cycle most of you know very well.
“Well Russell, you have such strong faith. It’s easy for you to trust God.” Constantly, people write to me with these kinds of comments. But, it’s not as easy as they claim. I still battle fearful thoughts. The cycle of “what if’s” still sneaks its way into my mind. Strong faith does not equal perfect peace. Perfect peace comes from total trust.
One aspect of faith is how you respond to the crumbling world around you, especially when you can’t understand all the reasons why. Can you trust God even when nothing makes sense? Can you trust him with your life? With your death? Can you trust him even when you don’t understand?
When those fearful thoughts come crashing in, I’ve learned to cry out in prayer: “Lord, I don’t really understand why this is happening, but I will trust you. I want to run and scream and panic! But, I will stand still and not give in to the fear. I will trust you.”
I encourage you this week with Proverbs 3:5, my life scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.” Trusting God is the foundation of faith. When you can place all of your trust in your Father, especially when nothing makes sense, then his “peace that passes all understanding will fill your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Prayer: Lord, I want to trust you more. Teach me to trust in the midst of fear. Teach me to rest in the midst of the storms.