Falling Into the Hands of God

For as long as I have been a Christian I have sought to have a heart after God. I have questioned God about many things in my life including many traumatic events, but I have never questioned my belief in God. But last week a fellow believer posed a question to me that I have wrestled with since then: “Do you believe God is who he says he is; do you believe his promises?” She was encouraging me to let go of all my efforts, my own ideas of serving God, and to rest in him. She described it as a funnel where I keep running around the outside trying to do things on my own. Then she asked me, “What happens if you stop running?” I looked at her and said, “I fall into the dark hole at the bottom of the funnel, the unknown.” She nodded, “Exactly.”

She pinpointed my greatest fear — the fear of the unknown. What I viewed as efforts to serve God were more driven by not wanting to fall into the unknown; of not wanting to fall completely into the hands of God. “Do you trust God to take care of the things you are trying to fix on your own?” I hesitated to answer. The revelation that I did not completely trust God brought tears to my eyes. I thought I was totally devoted to God, to following Christ Jesus, but her words revealed I was still clinging to the sides of the funnel with my own selfish motives and my works.

She went on to explain that falling into the unknown, falling into the hands of God, releases us to let his Spirit work fully within us. Our efforts become a response to God’s call, a nudging of the Spirit. A heart after God is the first step, but God calls us to a deeper relationship with him. He asks us to trust him and his ways even when they don’t make sense. “Just be still,” she advised me. “He is calling you to still waters, a place of rest.” It is a place where you can hear God’s call.

Running around the funnel on my own is tiring. Resting by still waters sounded attractive, but was it enough for me to stop running around the funnel? My fear of falling into the unknown still caused me to cling to the edge of the funnel. Even though I know God is there at the bottom with open hands to catch me, I can’t seem to let go. I feel God’s tug on my life, yet I still keep running around the funnel, too scared to fall into his hands.

This seems like a crisis of faith I am in. Will I let go of my own efforts and fall into a deeper relationship with the God of the universe who is patiently waiting for me; am I willing to die to self so I can fully live for Christ? It is not so much a question of belief, but a question of if I will give all I am to follow God even if I don’t know where he is leading me? Can I really let go of my efforts to control my life and let the hand of God guide me?

#Retrospective — This post originally published October 16, 2018.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. – Gen. 12:1 (NIV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. – Matt. 16:24 (NIV)

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. – Matt. 4:19-20 (NIV) © 2018 Chris G. Thelen

16 thoughts on “Falling Into the Hands of God

  1. Chris, I appreciate your witness. As believers, there will be times when we feel overwhelmed in our Christian journey. We are only human, just like David and so many other saints found in the Bible.

    1. It is amazing to look back and see how God was at work despite my worries. Of course there is always an unknown future. It seems to be a continual journey of learning to trust God, discovering more ways I need to trust Him and His ways. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! It was thought provoking. It challenges us to take a look at our lives and our relationship with the Lord, and ask God to reveal areas that are not submitted to Him.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like that point—“God revealing areas not submitted to Him.” It is a journey that requires us to constantly seek God’s wisdom. Blessings.

  3. Chris, I guess in this day and age people plan ahead. There’s the five-year plan, the ten-year plan, etc. But Scripture says “Your Word is a lamp to my feet,” not “a floodlight for the whole highway.” One step at a time may not be our preference, but it does keep life interesting. 😏

    1. Reminds me of James 4:13-15:
      “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that (NIV).”
      God often interrupts our plans to show us a different path, His plan. Yes, one step at a time. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  4. This goes ‘way deeper than just, “Let go and let God.” It is a serious dive into what that might mean in each different life. Yes, God is the Great Unknown; and yet He’s revealed Himself to us so clearly. We know what we can expect from Him – we just don’t know what it’s going to look like. Scary. But, as I’m sure you’ve found since 4 years ago, very much worth it.

    1. Good points. God is the known, steadfast and faithful. It is the unknown in our life that can be scary. Being able to look back four years and see the amazing and unexpected things that God has done shows he His faithful and steadfast. I have learned to rely more on God and yet I still have much to learn. I am so grateful for His love, His grace, and His patience. Thank you for the comment. Blessings.

  5. Since this is a post from four years ago, I presume that you have progressed in your ability to trust God and His promises. I believe trust is a lifelong journey for most Christians, it certainly has been for me. As the oldest child, I have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility that compels me to fix stuff, to jump in and make things right. This impulse has led to many false starts and much wasted effort. Sanctification takes time, a lifetime in fact. I appreciate your posts.

    1. Thank you for sharing those thoughts. It is indeed a lifelong journey. Looking back at the trauma we went through four years ago, I would like to say trusting God was my first choice. Instead it seemed it was only until I felt I had no other choice. Four years later I am still amazed at how God worked in ways I could have never imagined. I continue to work on letting go and trusting God in all things. Blessings to you.

    1. I am so grateful that God placed this incredibly wise person in my life at that time. Praise God that it ministered to you years later. When I reread it and scheduled it to repost, it reminded me of God’s faithfulness. It also reminded me that I still need to work on trusting Him. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  6. Almost four years later, did you fall through the funnel into the hands of God? I recognize the struggle all to well. I’ve stopped struggling before, only to find myself running around another funnel later. But God is good.

    1. At the time I did and I saw just how faithful God is—His wisdom is far superior. Yet as you said, I have since found other funnels full of worries. Sometimes I need to relearn lessons. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

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