It was late one evening sitting in the cool of a southern summer’s night when I finally said the words which I though I would never voice since Christ brought me back to Himself almost a decade ago. “I just don’t know if I trust Jesus anymore.” The words fell out like a long held confession ringing through every fiber of my being. If I am honest, these words had haunted me for some time, ringing in my head, my heart, and my soul. They fell from my lips with the weight of truth and taste of bitterness. But these words were true. I hated them, but they were true. I still believed that Jesus was God incarnate. I still believed that He died, and in doing to took all my sin and gave me all that He was; righteous, perfect, and all the rest. I still believed that He was ruling and reigning. Still believed that He was sovereign. But for the first time in my life sovereignty tasted bitter. I still believed in Christ, I just wasn’t sure I believed Him.
I was sitting in what seemed to the ruble of my life. I had been shaken and everything that I had pursued had fallen down around me. Plans shattered. Dreams taken away. An engagement broken. I had given my life as best I could to follow Jesus each time that He beckoned me to follow Him. I had done all that I could to follow Jesus as best that I could as a broken man and felt as though for all I had done affliction was given in the place of reward. I sat and finally bellowed out the words which I bottled inside of me. I gave up the confession that I trusted that God was who He declared Himself to be, but that His hand must be raised up to strike me and not held out to pick me up. The promises of the gospel, that I had only a few weeks before declared from behind a pulpit, appeared to be out of my reach. I felt as though I could cry out with David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Ps. 22:1)
Through the weeks, and months, that passed from that day some moments have come where I have felt wrapped in the love of Christ as tight as a lost lover’s embrace. And there have been times that I have been kept awake by my own weeping. I have run to Christ to be my liberator and have at times run to a thousand dark gods to comfort me. I had allowed myself to become enveloped by what I had done and what I planned on doing that my identity, security, and worth were based upon these things. I had let idols grow within my heart so large that as they towered up they blocked the Sun of Righteousness. And I have seen that when Christ causes our idols to fall at our feet we shall always feel the earth tremble beneath us. But it is only when Christ takes all that we have that we are truly able to see that He is all that we need.
This past year I have learned to trust Christ more that I ever had before. I was taught at the throne of grace that Christ is all that I need. I was deeply wounded, through my own sins and largely from being sinned against, so that I could learn that only Christ can heal me. As is the case with many deep wounds, healing comes slowly. What makes us better often causes us pain. For who would willingly undergo the tortures of chemotherapy if cancer was not a greater threat.
Though I am at a place where the future seems at times uncertain, and moments of pain still at times encompass me, I feel resolved to say with the psalmist, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps 119:105) And as anyone who has needed a lamp to light their way knows, the journey is not illuminated, only the next few steps. But the light that we posses allows safe passage, if only for the next few feet, and a promise that the further we venture the more we shall come to see.