I knew what God was doing–or at least I hoped I did–when I left my job. Other than having time to finish my college thesis and being one step closer to graduating, I knew God wanted me to learn to trust Him: trust that He would show me what to do or where to go even if I had no clue myself [uncertainty] and trust that He would bring that along in His perfect time [patience].
I knew that this period of unemployment would be a test to my patience and my fear of the unknown, and I thought I was ready to take it on. It’d be easy; I’d just have to wait, pray, do a couple of things here and there, and watch out to make sure I didn’t miss an opportunity or a signal that would point me in the right direction.
I was wrong. Trust is NOT passive.
Trust isn’t just about waiting and exercising patience so that God can hand you your perfectly planned life in a silver platter. I thought that if I waited long enough, if I sought God hard enough, He would show me what to do and everything would run smoothly. But I realized that the waiting part was only half the job. God wanted me to take risks.
And that’s the thing: He knows I’m scared of risks.
I always knew I was scared of the unknown, but the real magnitude of my fear has become the most clear to me now that I am unemployed; now that I have to start taking steps and risks.
I was so terribly scared of not choosing the right career path, or starting a new business project that would ultimately fail, or going through the job hunting process and feeling incompetent, or even having to adjust to new job logistics, that I almost felt paralyzed. I almost felt that I would rather wait inside the safety of my comfort until something easy and safe would come along. I would rather not try to do anything because I was scared of failing.
And again, it goes back to trust.
The most scary realization of all was realizing that my fears were only pointing at my lack of trust in God. Deep down, I didn’t believe that His will is good, pleasing and perfect [Romans 12:2]. I didn’t believe that He would not let my foot slip [Psalm 121:3]. I didn’t believe that He works all things for the good of those who love Him [Romans 8:28]. Most importantly, I wasn’t tasting and seeing that the Lord is in His very essence good [Psalm 34:8]. Instead, I was letting my accomplishments define me, I was trying very hard not to fail or make mistakes–like that’s possible for us humans.
Trusting God implies believing that He will be with me every step of the way, and whatever happens–whether a total success or an utter failure–He is in control and His purpose of sanctification is being performed in me.
Trust is ACTIVE. Trust waits patiently, but it also takes risks wisely; fearlessly.
I’m still learning.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will act.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
-Psalm 37:5, 7a