Many of you may have read my blog post a couple of weeks ago when I shared that my brother was trekking in Nepal and was not heard from for a few days following the devastating April earthquake. My brother is safely on American soil and we celebrated with him last weekend as he graduated from college.
Though it was only a couple of days that my brother was in Nepal, it felt like a lot longer, In the midst of it, I must say I surprised myself with the fear that I didn't have. Fear has always been my biggest struggle, but over the past few years, I have really been working on overcoming it. In this instance, I was surprised to see how much my faith had grown in this area.
I understood that, though I didn't know where my brother was, God had him in the palm of His hand. It (finally) made sense in my mind that panicking would do no one any good, and that worrying and anxiety would not bring my brother back sooner or safer. The situation was very black and white- meaning I knew there was nothing I could do and the best thing I could do was trust God.
I would say that my faith seemed to come easier in this situation. And by easy, I really mean less hard (see this Instagram post). But the purpose of this post is not to show off my incredible faith (you guys know me better than that). You see, about a week later, I found myself crying in my bedroom with utter lack of faith in God regarding a different situation.
This situation was a lot less black and white. This situation was in the gray area- meaning, there weren't necessarily two outcomes (i.e. my brother is safe or he was not). This situation required the action of another person- I was praying for this person and the choices that they would make and I felt myself frustrated with God. Why was He giving this person free will? Why did my endless prayers not seem to be getting answered?
How much of life is trusting God in the gray areas? There are so many instances when our faith is not regarding a black and white choice. It may be the salvation of a loved one when it requires an action on their part. It may be trusting in God that He will work to restore your marriage when you know that you can't control the actions of your spouse. It is trusting Him to heal a friendship or a relationship when you realize that you have done your part and it is between God and the other person.
And so many other different situations- new jobs, pregnancies, adoptions, and moves where the outcome can be vague. Where you don't really know what will happen, and can't (and won't) fully know what to even expect.
I would argue that most of life is a gray area and this the area in which it's harder to trust God. In the moment where I sat in my bedroom weeping about my "gray area" situation, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit about the faith I had with my brother and the Nepal.
"Sarah, your brother is safe and you knew then that the situation was 100% in my hands. This situation is no different- yes there is another person and a certain decision that is involved; it's a decision you can't make and a person you can't control, yet the situation is still completely in my hands."
My faith was so strong in the black and white situation, yet it easily faltered in the gray area. Trusting God in the gray areas of life is where faith gets messy. It is where belief gets hard and we are tested. Yet it is also where our faith grows, and we are challenged to completely and fully give our situation over to the Lord.
What gray area are you facing today? It may involve another person, a very unknown outcome, or certain factors that you haven't even thought about. I pray that today you are encouraged- God has every part of the situation in the palm of his hand. He intimately knows the other people involved, the circumstances you aren't aware of, and the decisions that you can't make. His power is over it all, and our job is to release our need for control and let him take over.