“Would you please let me trust God?”

What do you say to pushy people, including Christians, who won’t let you trust God? Trust is all well and good, they say, but there are things God expects us to do for ourselves too, if we hope to be healed or want a problem solved.

Try it and see. Tell a Christian you think the blotch on your nose is cancer, or that you can’t sleep, or you’re depressed, or stressed, or your eyesight is failing. Prepare for an avalanche of advice – home remedies, Grandma’a favourite recipes, internet diagnosis, the latest discoveries the medical profession has been hiding from us, what worked for Aunt Mabel, and a host of potions, pills and miracle foods that will restore body and mind back to full, vigorous health again.

It’s all probably well-meaning, but it can leave you feeling terribly guilty that you’re not doing your part, especially in a world that offers us so many things we can do for ourselves. And how do you reply to a well-meaning but pushy person who then asks you if you tried what they advised – and you haven’t? And the reason you haven’t is because, well, gulp, you’re actually trusting God and what he’s provided through trained professionals.

“Trained professionals?” they cry, spit flying. “Trust that money-making medical profession and its fancy drugs? Wake up,” they cry, again, “this is the new world of self-diagnosis, and expertise learnt off the internet. Forget the ten years of training that doctors go through; a few hours surfing the internet and we can all be trained professionals.”

It makes trusting God difficult, almost antiquated, when fellow Christians – from a totally untrained perspective, take note -make us feel we’re out of sorts with God if we’re not doing our part. Or that we can only truly trust God if we’re looking after ourselves properly, which in their minds means following their advice.

But what if their advice is wrong, or it doesn’t work on my type of body, or it turns out to be harmful? Is it doing my part properly taking the advice of people who don’t know for certain that what they’re advising is right for me?

It seems we’re wired to give advice, though, even when we have no training or proof that our advice is correct for everybody in every situation. But that’s what makes trusting God so obviously the better option, because if anyone knows exactly what’s best for all of us in every situation, short or long term, he does. So, would you please let me trust God, and not look down on me for not doing what you would like me to do as well?

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