From Why To Wise: Learning to Trust God

How do we trust God when He allows loss and pain? I love the holiday season. But holidays can punctuate life’s losses. Shadows darken our thoughts and feelings. What does trust look like when our whys scream for answers?

How My Dog Helped Me Trust God

My eighty-six-pound poodle, Max, showed me what trust looks like. After being diagnosed with Addison’s disease, Max needed to have his blood drawn regularly to check his electrolyte and hormone levels. One week, Max planted himself and refused to go with the technician. I followed the tech, and Max followed me.

I felt like a traitor luring my dog into my vet’s lab. I did it to save his life, but Max didn’t know that. Did Max think I was heartless to let the vet draw blood from his thin leg month after month?

This made me consider how I trust God when I am hurting. It’s easy to believe that if I understood the purpose of my pain, I’d trust him better. But is that true?

Imagine explaining Max’s condition to him. I could read him the symptoms off the Internet. I could show him his lab reports. I could remind him how he almost died. But would that help Max have his blood drawn?

My knowledge concerning the treatment of Max’s illness surpasses his. I know the brief pain of the needle produces lasting benefits. Sometimes God allows us to see the benefit of our losses. But many of our whys remain unanswered.

Isaiah 55:8–9 (NIV) offers some understanding:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The difference between my thoughts and my dog’s is much less than the distance between God’s thoughts and mine. If Max can’t understand why I have his blood drawn, do I think I can understand why God lets pain touch me?

Our Master’s Assurances

But God has not left me without assurance. He promised:

  • “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Cor. 4:17 NLT).
  • “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later” (Rom. 8:18 NLT).

A child of God can’t lose a hair without God noticing. Perhaps Romans 8:31 (NIV) sums up all we really need to remember. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Life on this planet is a vapor. But how we live echoes through eternity. Pain, loss, and confusion provide opportunities to trust the Master. The pain you, Max, and I experience is real. But the pain is temporary. God sees the big picture and promises to work the wrongs and injustices that touch us together for our eternal good (Rom. 8:28).

When I see Max romp across the yard without a symptom of Addison’s, I remember how sick he was before blood tests and shots and thank God for them. Max doesn’t understand the connection. He doesn’t need to. He only needs to know I take care of him.

This holiday season, instead of wallowing in our whys, let’s be wise and trust the one who shed his blood for us. He promises to use the pain we suffer for our eternal good and to walk with us through our trials (Isa. 43:1–3).

Today’s Strength Builder: What loss or injustice still pains you? Ask God to help you transfer your focus from your whys to the one who loves you.

What does trust look like when our whys scream for answers? #Trust, #why Share on X

Comment here.

Wishing you a joyful Thanksgiving,

Adapted from Little Strength, Big God

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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  1. Melissa Henderson

    While reading your message, I began singing “Trust and Obey”. Trust Him. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Melissa, that’s so good. Those simple words carry so much truth. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. Ann

    Amen! And what a perfect analogy.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ann, I love how God uses life to open our eyes to spiritual realities. Happy Thanksgiving. I appreciate you!

  3. Jane

    Excellent message! Thank you.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Jane. God bless!

    • Linda Stoll

      Thanksgiving blessings to you, Debbie.

      • Debbie W. Wilson

        And to you, Linda! Thank you.

  4. Candyce Carden

    A lot of wisdom here. Took me a while to let go of the need to know the “why.” It requires a total surrendering to God.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      It does, Candyce. Some take longer than others before they quit flying back in your face.

  5. Gina Castell

    Thanks for sharing and all your hard work.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Gina. I hope you enjoy a special time of Thanksgiving.

  6. Teri Haigh

    Thanks Debbie for your timely article! Just what I needed to change my perspective and start my day! Another hymn that this points me toward is Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. Then, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and graceHappy Thanksgiving!!!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Beautiful! Thank you, Teri. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  7. Gayl

    So good, Debbie! We don’t need to know all the whys but we do need to continue to trust in our heavenly Father who does know the whys and whose ways are high above ours. Blessings to you!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Gail. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  8. Nancy E. Head

    I love the word picture you present. I often see my pup in a similar way. She fears things she doesn’t need to fear and doesn’t fear some things she should.

    And your so right. The distance between the dog’s thinking and ours is much closer than ours to God’s thinking.

    His gift of animals to us can teach us well.

    Thanks, Debbie. Happy Thanksgiving. God bless!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      They do teach us so much. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Nancy!

  9. Annie Yorty

    Such wise advice indeed, Debbie. Thank you!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks for reading, Annie. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  10. Lynn

    Oh gosh, that is a wonderful analogy. Max cannot understand you AND he doesn’t have a bible to reference like we do. We have a God we can trust because we know and we believe in His words. I hope Max is doing well now!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Lynn, I didn’t consider the extra revelation we have in the Bible. Thanks for adding that!

  11. J.D. Wininger

    As I’m sitting here with a red sclera in my right eye, the after effects of having a steroid capsule injected into my eye a week ago today, I find tears flowing Ms. Debbie. Since February 2022, I’ve had injections into each eye every two-to-four weeks. The goal, keep from going blind because of drug-induced macular edema (DIME). After the anger that doctors prescribed something that could do this, I began a “pity party”, asking God why. “Why would you allow this, Lord? You called me to be a writer! How can I do that if I’m blind?” What I should have started with, but reached a year later is, “God, I don’t know what You’re doing, but I trust that You have my best in mind.” His Word reminded me that our ways are not His. They also reminded me that while I can’t understand, I can trust Him and His promises. The promise I’m holding onto is that one day, I will be made perfect. THAT is what I look forward to. Being able to see Him and be present with Him in person. Thank you so much for this encouraging post ma’am.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I’m so sorry you are going through this. I pray God will be especially close to you and grant you greater spiritual vision to compensate for the physical vision you’ve lost. I had a counseling professor say that life is a series of goodbyes. The older I get the more that makes sense. Thankful we both know the One who has insured a perfect eternity for us. It is a daily choice for me to hold onto the hope that our suffering in this life will produce a weight of glory in the next.

  12. Jeanne Takenaka

    Debbie, I so appreciate this post. It brought to mind some experiences loved ones and I have walked through when grappling with not understanding the Why’s behind God allowing us to suffer. Not understanding the pain we must walk through is an opportunity for us to choose to walk in faith rather than doubt. Thanks for this, Debbie. And I’m glad your dog is doing better!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Jeanne, choosing faith brings peace, but sometimes my questions delay it. I’m thankful God helps us along the way to trust Him when we can’t understand why something has happened.

  13. Yvonne Morgan

    So much wisdom Debbie. Thank you for your insight

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Yvonne!

  14. Joanne Viola

    Such an encouraging post, Debbie. We may not understand or have the answers to all our questions. I am grateful we can follow the One who will always do what is best for our lives. Much the way Max didn’t need to know all the connections, may we also rest in the One who is always taking care of us.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yes, may knowing my Master loves and cares for me be enough in those times.

  15. Stephanie Sudano

    Love this Debbie. Your posts are just what I’ve needed to hear! Thank you!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  16. Cathy Chung

    What a great example. Max trusted you without knowing the ‘why’. Let’s trust God when He leads.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amen. Our Master has proved His wisdom and love over and over again! Thanks, Cathy.

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