Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why I Don't Trust God

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"In God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?"
        -Psalm 56:11

I used to believe that. I used to believe it with everything in me. It was my whole life, it was everything. Trust in God. It gave meaning to all I did.

"What can man do to me?" What can anyone or anything do to me? God is on my side. God is in control. Nothing can happen to me unless God allows it, and he is with me all the time, and he loves me and he knows me better than anyone. Oh how I trusted him.

No fear. I can face anything. With God, I am strong and independent. Untouchable.


And I feel so bad saying this, but I don't trust God anymore.

Why? Because my gall bladder failed. And I was sick and in pain for 2 months while doctors tried to figure it out. And I had surgery and the gall bladder is gone and the pain went away but... but now it's almost a year later and I'm not back to where I was before. Being sick and unable to do anything for months brought a bunch of other consequences into my life. Delayed my graduation. I felt like a failure for not being in China- I was sure I would be moving to China a year ago. And I'm dealing with depression and anxiety too.

I feel like right now, things are getting better. (I finally got a job in China, by the way, and I'll move there soon.) Health is getting better. I guess.

But see, I can't trust God.

Or at least, I can't trust him to not let my own stupid organs turn against me and completely derail my life for 2 months and I'm still not fully recovered a year later... I can't trust him for that.

And I'm not telling this story so everyone is like "oh my gosh Perfect Number, I'm so sorry." Gall bladder surgery is not really a big deal, apparently it's pretty common... well, not for people who are 23... I know other people have problems much worse than mine. And see, they can't trust God to keep them safe from those problems either.

So when we talk about "trusting God," I need that defined better. Trust him to DO WHAT?

(Oh, right. I know the answer for this one- God doesn't give us a guarantee that he won't let bad things happen, but he does promise to be with us through it all. Oh, great, thanks. What's the point of that? If he doesn't actually do anything for real, just tries to make me feel better or something. Yeah, not helpful.)

And ya know, right when I first got sick, I wondered if God had a reason for it. Why was this happening to me? I had a couple guesses- maybe God wanted me to stay in the United States a little longer, for various reasons. But I don't believe in that anymore- I don't believe in trying to come up with reasons for bad things, I don't believe in any explanations about how God caused this bad thing to happen so that this other good thing could come from it. I believe God redeems, but I don't believe he did this to me on purpose so I could learn and become a better person and all that garbage.

So whatever. I don't know. I don't trust God- I used to, I want to, but I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. 

And this post is a little angry, but I'm actually optimistic about this- I am reworking my definitions of faith and trust. I'll totally blog about that soon. I'll have faith again, somehow.

But for now, I don't trust God.


This post is part of a link-up on the topic of Psalm 56. To read other people's posts, click here: This I know, God is for me.


  1. I love your honesty, and the fact that you are working through all this. I think that's what the Psalmists do through their words as well.

  2. I hear ya. I used to trust that God would bring the right spouse at the right time...then time passed. Now I'm 35. And I don't trust God to do that anymore. As you say - maybe this lack of trust is a good thing - maybe that initial trust wasn't the sort of trust we're supposed to have in God. Maybe this current 'mistrust' is the first step on the path to a different (more unshakeable?) trust. We'll see...

  3. I second what Kirsten said. Being honest is really what the psalms are all about. And, even before you said it, I was optimistic for you too! It's good to reflect, to shift, to figure out what still makes sense and what's hard to understand. Thank you, as always, for your wonderful writing!

  4. After 3 years of struggling with my husband's unemployment, I get where you're coming from. All I can really say is that Philip Yancey's book Disappoinment with God was a HUGE help.

  5. Thank you for your raw honesty. I think too often, Christians give simple answers to complicated issues of life and faith. It is not easy to trust God. And it doesn't mean that our life is always good. And we each have to wrestle with that in our own ways. It's one of the reasons I love the Psalms- I think they give permission for us to say these kinds of things out loud.

    What I hope most of all for you is that you have people in your life who can be WITH you in the midst of it. Not judging, not answering, but listening and loving.

  6. I too struggled with that. Finally someone whose honest enough to say it. I believe nothing is certain in this life. Just trust God that when you die you go to Heaven.

  7. Ramona M. PinckneyFebruary 7, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Faith in God is a belief in someone who has revealed himself to man at many times and in various ways.It doesn't mean that everything not going your way so you start not believing in god.