Clarity vs. Trust
There is something in all of us that always wants clarity. It is part of our sinful ego and a common expression of our insecurities. Clarity can become an idol that replaces authentic trust in God. In many ways, we would rather understand the details of the road ahead than rest in deep intimacy with the God who has promised to direct our steps. He has never promised to show us a detailed 10-year plan. Clarity can actually become spiritually counterproductive as it shortchanges trust, a life of faith and moment-by-moment dependence on God.
Scripture tells us, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8). Yes, we must pour out our hearts and all they contain—praise, gratitude, worry, fear, doubt and, yes, uncertainty. God is our in-the-moment refuge, but not always a divine GPS system, spouting the details of every turn we might encounter one year down the road. Thus, we must trust Him at ALL times. We should never assume a life of trust or take God’s refuge for granted.
In the great “faith” chapter (Hebrews 11) we are reminded that trust is strongest when clarity is dim or non-existent. Noah built an ark while waiting for 120 years for an unprecedented rainfall. Sarah was told to trust God for a child in her old age with no clarity as to how such a thing could happen. Abraham went out, “not knowing where he was going” and later planned to sacrifice his own son with no clarity as to why he was called to do this or what the outcome might be. The stories are extensive. The truth is unmistakable. Faith flourishes when we are trusting God at the deepest level with a willingness to let go of our insistence for clarity.
We often want to “chart the course,” but the Bible tells us to walk in the Spirit. We insist on a strategic plan. Jesus says, “Follow me.” We want all the answers. The Lord tells us to trust Him, because of what we know to be true about His character.
A few years ago, I discovered a song by a young Christian musician named Jadon Lavik. The lyrics offer deep encouragement:
“I look around, and what can I do? This place is unfamiliar and new. So I try to look beyond what’s right in front of me. Is hope to be found? How can this be true? Comfort came and left in such a hurry—so that once on the other side of this tragedy… You wake up to find that you’re right where you’re supposed to be—trapped in uncertainty. Each day’s a mystery. You wake up to find that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. The past is unveiled and you see you’re right where you’re meant to be.”