Yesterday, a friend and I baked our little hearts out in preparation for my husband’s birthday celebration. While we cored apples and blended spices, we talked about what’s going on in our lives . . . pregnancy woes, impending birth of my daughter, financial issues, relationships with family members, and our unique struggles with letting go and letting God.
She struggles to let go of an addiction to a substance; I struggle to let go of my obsession to keep all my ducks in a row. At the core of our struggles, we’re both seeking to fill holes inside of us.
Ultimately, neither of us have completely surrendered ourselves to God in these matters, although we’re both working on it and making progress daily.
I told my friend that I’d been praying for her a few days earlier, and as I contemplated her struggle as well as my own, God brought to mind the fact that we were both feebly attempting to fill holes or meet needs in our lives.
The problem is that we seek to fill holes and meet needs that are meant to be filled and met by God. Tragically, or comically (depending on my perspective that day), I can look back and identify many moments in my life when I sought to fill countless holes this way. Like pits of quicksand, my efforts to fill the holes were useless. It wasn’t that I lacked willpower, effort, or passion.
I was just busy trying to fill holes that weren’t mine to fill.
I was taking on a God-sized job, and I wasn’t God.
Today I deal with holes and needs quite differently. While I must still daily lay aside my own controlling nature and lack of trust, I’m learning more and more to put down my shovel and allow God to fill the holes in my life instead. But how did I come to the conclusion that God could be trusted with these holes and these needs? Trial and error. The more I tried to fill the holes and meet the needs myself, the more I realized that my way wasn’t working well. I needed a new solution to an old problem.
Thankfully, by taking actions until my feelings followed, I learned to trust God. I started by giving him the tiny holes to fill up; after all, if He screwed up, I wouldn’t be that far behind in my work and could pick up where He left off. But He didn’t let me down. He met my needs and filled the holes in ways I’d never thought possible. Each time I saw Him successfully accomplish a task I’d relentlessly attempted to complete (in vain), my faith was strengthened. My trust in Him grew. And I began to hope that He would do it again.
And He did, again and again.
This morning, as I read Psalm 25, I noticed the themes of trust and hope recurring in the passage.
“I trust in You; do not let me be put to shame.” Psalms 25:2
“My hope is in You all day long.” Psalms 25:5
“My hope, Lord, is in You.” Psalms 25:21
I’m grateful that as I read these words today, they weren’t just words on a page. They echo the resounding faith that has welled up in me over the past few years. Because I stepped back, dropped my shovel, and allowed God to fill the holes in my heart and my life, I actually have hope that He’ll continue to do the same, for me and for people I love, if we can just stop digging.