Surprises & Trust: Is God Enough?

What a blessing to introduce one of my favorite writing friends to y’all this week. I’ll always remember this cheerful little woman walking up to me at a writer’s conference in SC as I was overwhelmed at all the busyness of so many well-known authors. “Are you J.D.”, she asked with a smile while extending her petite hand. “I was hoping to meet you.” Over the next two days we shared lunch, divided and conquered different classes by sharing handouts and comparing notes, prayed, and became friends. More than that, God used this gracious, sophisticated little woman to help an old dirt farmer from east Texas find peace and a sense of belonging in the big world of Christian writing. Please welcome Ms. Marilyn Nutter to the Cross-Dubya this week.

God’s blessings,

Signature

Surprises & Trust: Is God Enough?

“The LORD decrees His loving devotion by day,
and at night His song is with me as a prayer to the
God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 NIV

When I called my son-in-law to tell him I had fallen and was at the ER with a fractured hip, the response was the silence of incredulity. News like that isn’t ever on our radar. The event was a surprise to my family, and certainly me, but no surprise to an all-knowing God.

One of my concerns as a widow for the past several years is facing an incident or illness alone. It’s a comforting scenario to have your husband by your side holding your hand; totally different when you must depend on family, friends, and strangers.

I met my anesthesiologist thirty minutes prior to surgery. Yes, the one who would put me to sleep. There was no opportunity to check his resume. My surgeon greeted me as I entered the OR. I was at everyone’s mercy, trusting God had gone before me arranging the expertise of people I didn’t know who would restore me to wholeness. I couldn’t sit up to walk away if I wanted to.

Isn’t that where we are on a daily basis? We are at the mercy of others’ driving ability as we run errands and jockey for parking spots. We trust food preparation in factories and restaurants. We don’t know how planes operate, or the credentials and training of the pilot, yet we board planes, soar to thousands of feet, and trust we’ll land safely.

Yet in a crisis or a permanent life altering situation woven with challenges and emotions, do we trust God and His provision? Do we have confidence knowing nothing is a surprise to Him? Or do we have other responses?

Psalm 42 presents a picture of a downcast individual, one who weeps and wonders, who feels anxious and crushed.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?”

Perhaps we identify. The script we live is not remotely what we imagined or desire. We suffer physically or emotionally. We’re isolated, physically alone, or we feel alone because no one understands.

Sweet friends kept me company for hours, but at the end of the day, I lay on my bed with an IV attached to my body confining me to one position. Once again, I couldn’t get up and walk out.  I was escorted to the bathroom by a stranger. Nurses who took my vitals and techs who drew blood, interrupted my sleep. I waited for discharge– to a rehab facility, then home. I didn’t want to be there one more minute than necessary, but I was not in charge of the timetable. I wondered if the pinning would be adequate or would I need hip replacement.

As I waited, the words from Psalm 42 and the devotions I read from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Today, made a difference in my thinking. “Take heart, My child, knowing that I am in charge of your life…Whether you are waking or sleeping, I am always present with you. For I am indeed the God of your life.”

Life interruptions and not being able to move away from our circumstances call us to trust God. They call us to live in and with hope-not wishful thinking hope, like “I hope it doesn’t rain at the beach”, but God’s kind of hope. The hope that we can trust an all-knowing God, we can trust His character and that He keeps His promises. That kind of hope blesses me when I wish I could get up and walk out, but know I can’t.

In whom do you place all hope in your life? Click To Tweet

Where are you today? Which of God’s promises bless you in your hard place or season? The promise of the sufficiency of His grace, His presence, His provision of your needs? Encourage us with hope and share how living with His promises give you hope.

-Marilyn Nutter

About the Author

Marilyn Nutter, of Greer, SC is the author of three devotional books and a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. She is a Bible teacher and speaker for women’s groups, a grief support facilitator, and serves with women’s ministries at her church. In her life’s seasons, she has met God’s faithfulness and clings to Lam. 3:22-23. Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart, written with April White, will be released on September 28. Visit www.marilynnutter.com where you will find encouragement for hopeful living in ordinary and challenging days.

A Note About Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart

It has been my pleasure in recent weeks to have read and reviewed Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart by Ms. Marilyn and her co-author, Mrs. April White. In fact, I’ve read it twice; finding new encouragement and hope in my personal grief journey each time. One take-away I’ve found is that grief is not a one size fits all item. It comes in many different forms and each of us will wear it differently. This inspiring book leads its readers to a common goal of restored hope, peace, and faith in God. Destination Hope releases next week, and you can pre-order it today here: https://www.amazon.com/Destination-Hope-Travel-Companion-Falls/dp/1649601093

49 thoughts on “Surprises & Trust: Is God Enough?

  1. Ms Marilyn is a Word Weaver friend and assists my writing tremendously. She’s a good friend to have. Amazing what you can find at #BRMCWC!

  2. I can definitely relate to a degree. Five years ago I found myself in the hospital facing emergency surgery and meeting a surgeon I never heard of and trusting all these wonderful nurses and other doctors and underpinning it all was trusting that God had already gone before me. A wonderful reminder.

    1. It’s in those moments of complete surrender to strangers that our trust in God is often put to the test isn’t it Ms. Ann? So glad you enjoyed the post ma’am; and glad you got to meet my friend Ms. Marilyn. You two have a lot in common; a heart for God is among them.

  3. So nice to meet you here, Marilyn! God has walked us through some major medical issues over the past two years as my husband battled leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant. It sure changed the way we see God – bigger – and ourselves – minuscule – because we were completely reliant on Him and the skilled medical staff He charged to care for my husband. Now we face another medical challenge, one that the leukemia put on hold until my husband was strong enough to address it. But we face this is with much more confidence than we did in the past because of everything God has already walked us through. He’s our Rock.

    1. Yes ma’am. Y’all have both faced some major health challenges. Through them all, God has remained faithful, and I’ve watched each of you as He helped grow you through the trials. God’s blessings my friend; praying for your latest challenge.

    2. Karen, I’m sorry to hear of these health issues. Yes, we find ourselves where we always are but often don’t realize it- totally dependent on God for our very breath. He is the One, as Paul says, who “holds all things together”. Trusting Him is our ultimate place of security. Blessings Karen.

  4. Thank you for highlighting author Marilyn Nutter on your site today. Marilyn is a wonderful, kind, compassionate and spirit filled woman. 🙂 I love the question “In whom do you place all hope in your life?” I place all my hope in God.

  5. So nice to meet you, Marilyn! You have asked some very probing questions in this post. In a life-altering situation, will I place my trust and confidence solely in God? My prayer is that it will always be so for He has been ever faithful and constant in my life. Thank you for sharing your friend with us all, J.D. Her words have blessed!

  6. This was a timely piece for me this morning. J.D., thank you for featuring Marilyn and her new book. I just ordered it. And Marilyn, no matter how long we’ve walked with the Lord, we always need reminders to keep our heads on straight and our eyes on Jesus. He’s proved Himself faithful over and over. God’s grace and His presence are worth everything. Thank you for prompting my hope today.

  7. Lots of memories came to visit while I read your inspiring post, Marilyn. After 4 total hip replacements and a knee, I recognize that feeling that you’re absolutely surrendering to the knowledge of those who know more about your condition than you do and the skill of those who can do things for you that you cannot do for yourself. That situation exists with our wonderful, loving, gracious, and incredibly skilled Creator every day. Trusting Him isn’t just the right thing to do–it’s the only thing that makes any sense. God bless you for the reminder, and J.D. for inviting you to share your gifts with us.

    1. Just knew this post was going to speak volumes my friend. Praying your continued recovery sir. Ain’t it just like God to bring folks into our lives who so easily relate to our walk with Him? It’s sure good to know we’re never alone.

    2. Ron, four?. God is with and gets us through doesn’t He. And when one experience is done, we have a new way to trust Him. Lam. 3:22-23 proves true every day.

  8. Where am I today? That’s a tough question, my friends. Still in the season of grief (does grief ever leave us once it settles its heavy mantle on our shoulders?) But, now is also a time for hope as I wait for God’s guidance for my next steps. Waiting is hard and I’m not good at it, but our Lord has infinite patience and He’s sharing with me. Thank you, Marilyn and J.D. for sharing this inspiring message.

    1. Yes ma’am. Like you, I wonder if grief ever truly leaves us. I like to think I make peace with it, as it finally quits gnawing at my soul; but when I stop and think of the hope that comes from knowing what our future holds, the pain that so often accompanies grieving passes away. God’s blessings my gentle friend.

    2. Katherine, grief never leaves – there is no expiration date here on earth but grief changes shape and becomes different. Hope: resting In God’s character and His promises to do what He says. For me in mourning and loss, that means He gives grace, strength and provides what I need even when tears and sighs come. Blessings to you today. Praying you have a smile. Marilyn

  9. J.D. and Marilyn, thank you for sharing these words of faith. We live by faith every day, trusting those at the red light will obey the signal and the other places you listed. But when we feel helpless it takes us to a whole new level.

    1. So true Ms. Debbie! Ms. Marilyn’s post caused me to stop and think about how much more I have to be grateful to God for each day; all because we place our trust in Him. Thank you for commenting ma’am.

  10. Thanks for sharing your friend and her wisdom in words with us JD! The most impossible place to rest is a hospital after you’ve had surgery. Just about the time you fall asleep, someone comes to adjust something, jab you with something, or wheel you off for some scan or test. True rest comes when we rest in Him!

  11. Thanks for sharing Marilyn with us. I love her wisdom of putting our trust fully in God. He is the answer to all our doubts. Her book looks very interesting. God bless.

    1. Yes ma’am. You are most welcome. Of the many things I’ve come to appreciate about my friend Ms. Marilyn, her keen insights and wise counsel are chief among them. Glad you enjoyed ma’am. Thank you!

  12. At first, I started to get worked up asking – yeah – why do I trust a pilot? Maybe I should ask for his credentials before boarding a plane. Then I realized that the blog was not to stir up fear, but to encourage us to trust God in all things. For someone like me who constantly has to let go of her illusion of control, I keep reminding myself to trust God even when it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to be easy, because God is good even when I don’t understand. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Amen Ms. Joanna. Learning to trust God in all things is something I still struggle with from time-to-time. I’m convinced that somehow, this need to be in control gene was part of the curse at man’s downfall. I’ve always believed that I can only depend upon myself, and while that’s needed and true to some extent (e.g. it’s up to us to exercise the gift of self-control we are given), we must learn to trust that God always has what is best for us at the forefront of His thoughts. Learning to accept that has made it easier for me to “let go and let God.” So glad you enjoyed the post; and thank you so much for stopping by to comment my friend. What a blessing!

  13. Helpless situations remind us that we are not alone but also show us how much we need our heavenly Father. We need Him all the time but when we are at our lowest, it is comforting to know that He doesn’t abandon us. We know we can trust in Him for everything.

    1. Oh, amen Ms. Barbara. It is those times that we find our dependence upon God grows deeper; making it easier to trust Him in the future. God’s blessings ma’am. I’m sitting here thinking of some of the discussions you, Ms. Marilyn, me, and others had around our table at the Enrich Conference a few years ago. Precious memories.

  14. I’m sorry to learn about your hip and so thankful that you bounced back from the fracture. That’s a pretty big life interruption!

    Philippians 4:6-7 are the verses I recall in those desolate and frightening moments. And then I present my requests — which is often only a “God be with me, God be with me” mantra until I regain the “peace of God which transcends all understanding” once again.

  15. Hi Marilyn,

    I am so sorry you suffered such a horrible break. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been.

    Whether our body or our heart is broken–perhaps by loss or what we see happening in the world–I love the truth of what you share, “we can trust His character and that He keeps His promises”.

    Thank you for these encouraging words.

    Blessings,
    Tammy

    1. Very sweet sentiments Ms. Tammy. I think Ms. Marilyn and Ms. April have done a fine job with “Destination Hope”, and I know you join me in praying it helps many folks find God’s peace in the midst of their grieving and renews their hope.

  16. I very much enjoyed Ms. Marilyn’s encouraging post today. Hope is one thing we can’t live without. It seasons our lives with joy and blessings as we wait on God’s promises. The Lord has indeed taken away my sorrows and replaced them with His hope! Thanks, J.D. for sharing your blog today. Blessings. 🙂

  17. Lovely post. I recall flying one time to Puerto Rico by myself, I think it was 2007, and for some reason I was off mentally, and spiritually. I kept saying in my mind John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This went over and over in my head almost the whole trip. But I was unsettled, and for some reason terrified. I guess that’s how it goes with mental health some times, I look back on that time from where I am today and I wonder. It’s been kind of a lonely road (even though married since 12/1/07) for our mind can be a prison or a garden. Then? A prison. Now? More like a slowly blooming garden. I read Psalm 42 and one of my favorite verses is Psa 42:11 and “…Hope thou in God…” and it reminds me I fight fear today with praise and thanksgiving, and it normally flees. I guess that is how it is with gardens. God likes the gardens without gates or bars, so first He must remove them, till and prepare the soil, remove any remnants of inorganic matter, perhaps even let the soil rest for a time to ensure it is ready for sowing, then he begins planting and watering. But lovingly keeps the garden tended and weeded and pruned. Well that’s my 2 cents. Enjoyed reading this post, been a while since I’ve stopped by. And the Lord blessed me with words that warmed my heart. Thanks Ms. Marilyn for your vulnerability and Mr. J.D for posting a guest post. P.S- Hello to the Mrs. for me.

    1. We continue praying with you along your journey Ms. Kari. Whether that journey is completed on this side of heaven or the other, we know God has promised to complete His work in you; and we look so forward to celebrating with you. Thank you so much for reading and commenting ma’am. I too have those moments when something stirs my soul and I cannot find my peace. That’s when I remember not to rely on my own, but upon God’s. God’s blessings ma’am.

  18. Marilyn, that must have been such a difficult time, and yet you trusted God and have encouraged us to do so in all circumstances. Thank you J.D. for sharing your blog with Marilyn today!

    1. Yes. Thank you for commenting Ms. Kathy. I can’t imagine overcoming all that Ms. Marilyn has. Reading her story in the pages of her book gave me even more respect for this dear woman’s strength and dependence upon God in her life.

  19. Glad to see you were able to take a little writing break for a week. Thanks for your allowing Marilyn to share her story. I remember well my feeling of peace and trust as I lay on a gurney heading down the hallway to get a stent in my heart. God’s peace truly overcomes this world.

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