Monday, September 22, 2014


OK, yes, this has a backstory.

Years ago, my sons had hamsters.  Cute and cuddly little guys. 

We (I) enjoyed taking care of them – cleaning out the cage, changing the water, making sure they were fed.

But, there came a day when we faced a dilemma – vacation.

Obviously we couldn't take the critters with us – even though this decision was vociferously opposed. 

So, what to do?

Well, I decided to do what I always did when I needed some extra help – I asked Mom.

My mom is the best.  She was the only babysitter that I ever had for my kids.  I was lucky.  She lived close by – and I actually think she just might have sat by the phone all the time waiting for the opportunity to *watch the boys!*

I called her.

"Mom, would you be willing to watch the hamsters for us while we're gone on vacation?"

"Of course."

Then I shared with her how one of the hamsters had some sort of skin thing growing on his back.  It was making me nervous, and I didn't know what to do.

Mom, precious Mom, had an immediate answer:

"Don't worry.  I'll take care of it."

So, cages and food and sawdust and bedding fluff was dropped off at Mom's house – oh, and also two little furry bundles of fun.

And we left on vacation.

When we came back home, I called my mom to make arrangements to pick up the hamsters.  And to see how the "skin thing" was doing…

And then I found out what my mom had done.

In our absence, she had found and called a local vet by her house.  She had taken the hamster in for a visit.  And then, she had decided to have the vet perform surgery on the hamster to remove the growth.

Yes, surgery.

On a hamster.

Surgery that cost her (way back then) over $300!!

I couldn't believe it.

Mom had done an incredible thing.  I was amazed, though I shouldn't really have been.  My mom is just that sort of person.

I write about this story because I was thinking about it the other day.  I can still vividly remember the sense of relief I had handing over those hamsters to Mom.  Total peace of mind, no worriescalm thoughts and calm heart.

The reason I was thinking about this is because of the struggles that I've had lately letting go of stuff.

I pray – oh boy, do I ever pray!  But I just can't seem to let go.

I want so desperately to have that same peace of mind that I had with my mom.  I want to know that serenity.

So, I started thinking about WHY I was able to have peace about the hamsters.  Here's what I came up with:

1.  I completely trusted my mom.  I knew that I could count on her, that I could leave something in her care, and not give it a second thought.  I was well-acquainted with her character, and she had always proven trust-worthy. 

2.  Mom knew me in-and-out.  I knew that she wouldn't do anything to hurt me.  She would handle the situation just like I would.  She would do the right thing.

3.  Mom understood my heart.  She always cared about what I cared about.  The things that were precious to me were precious to her.  My concerns were hers, and my heartaches were borne in her heart, too.

4.  Mom was willing to take on the responsibility of taking care of things.  She shouldered the burden instead of me.

5.  Whatever it took, whatever the cost, Mom would do it out of love for me.  Her deepest desire was to bring me joy.

OK, that's a good list.

So, I'm asking myself – do I feel the same way about God?

The most honest answer I can give to this question is – yes and no.

I agree that all the things I said above about Mom also apply to God, too.

But, here's the rub.

Sometimes God lets things happen that are terribly difficult, painfully sad, achingly confusing…

In other words, not everything that God lets happen in my life is good.

(At least not by my definition).

Yes, He is trust-worthy.  Yes, He knows me in-and-out.  Yes, He understands my heart and cares about what I care about.  Yes, He has promised to bear my burdens.  And yes, He did what it took, paid the cost, just to bring me joy.

But I am not always joy-full.

So I have to admit that in the way that I live out my life, I do not trust God to guard me from suffering.


(Honesty hurts…)

A few years ago in Bible Study, I heard this thought (my paraphrase):

Whether God will or will not do something is up to Him.  Our part of the bargain is to decide whether we believe He is ABLE.

And, my friends, that is the crux of my problem.

I do believe with my whole heart that God is able to do anything – even the impossible.

But, when He doesn't do something that I think He should or could, what then?

Is He still good and worthy to be trusted?

Life, and the enemy of my soul, work very hard to convince me otherwise.

But, unless I'm willing to give up on Truth, I have to believe that God is trustworthy.  I cannot tolerate any inkling that He is a cruel despot or uncaring observer.

So what to do?

Here's some thoughts that I've come up with:

1.  Trust really isn't trust when things are going good.

2.  Trust becomes true trust when it is tested.

3.  Trust continues to believe in something or someone even when things go wrong.

4.  Trust is relying on someone’s character and not on the outcome of circumstances.

5.  Trust is believing something contrary to our feelings.

6.  Trust refuses to be side-tracked by lies.

7.  Trust should be based on what God has done in the past, and what He will do in the future – (think *the cross* and *eternal life*) – not on the current struggles.

And finally, trust must go beyond my own understanding of things.  If God is God, and I believe He is, He WILL do the best and good and perfect thing in my life...


That is Truth, and that is Trust.

I'm asking the Lord to grant me the same peace of mind that I so remember from that episode with hamster surgery.  I am craving the same release from fear and worrying.

For I do know that He loves me – actually way more than even my mom does.

He died for me.

Oh, I can picture myself sitting at the foot of the cross, looking up at the broken body of a Savior, desperately searching His swollen and pain-filled eyes for some sense of peace.

And then, if I am quiet in my soul, I can hear Him whisper, inaudible to anyone else but me:

"Don't worry.  I'll take care of it."

And in tears, I know it's true.

He is the Great Physician.
The Master Healer.
The One who restores
the crushed in spirit,
and mends
the broken heart. 

"When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all." (Psalm 34:17-19, ESV)

"He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." (Psalm 147:3, NLT)

"'The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free...'" (Luke 4:18, NLT)

"'Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do.  I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'" (Mark 2:17, NLT)

"...he healed all the sick.  This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, 'He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.'" (Matthew 8:16-17, NLT)

"And [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people." (Matthew 4:23, ESV)

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14, NIV)

"'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'  And Jesus answered them, 'Go and tell...what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.'" (Matthew 11:3-6, ESV)

"By his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24, ESV)

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." (James 5:16, ESV)

"He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces...for the LORD has spoken.  It will be said on that day, 'Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.  This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.'' 
(Isaiah 25:8-9, ESV)

"I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, 'Look, God's home is now among his people!  He will live with them, and they will be his people.  God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.'  And the one sitting on the throne said, 'Look, I am making everything new!'...And he also said, 'It is finished!  I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End.'" (Revelation 21:3-6, NLT)

Amen and amen!

In what ways do you struggle with trusting God completely?

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I have lost two full comment posts for this one post. I don't need computer frustration in my life this morning so I am not going to type it up again. It was something that I needed or wanted you to hear, too.

    Kind of sick of fighting a battle on every front, even a computer front.

    Trying for the THIRD time.

  2. So great... the grouchy lamentation posted but not the actual comment. sigh..

    I needed your post this morning. Apparently, Satan felt that he needed to devil me more because of it.

  3. I never doubt that God can do anything. I struggle with whether I'm "good enough" for Him to do it for me. I needed to read this today and stand on His promise of "good and perfect" gifts. (I could never leave a hamster with my mother. Ha!) ~Pamela

  4. The way to tie a simple, "homey", story with deep spiritual truth is a gift, Sharon! (And what a great mama you have!)

  5. This was excellent how you compared between your mom and God and trust. This is something to be read several times to really absorb all the great thoughts you shared with us, Sharon! I need to really trust God in all times, even in those painful ones indeed!


  6. Oh Sharon ... what a precious loving mom and heart you both have for critters, God and your boys! No one but you could make such a wonderful comparison between trust in God and trust in ones' mama... with peace and security wrapped in the bundle. So many great points and a clincher for a photo! Only you! Such a gift you are and have in capturing this and making application to all these worries that you can't let go of... poof! I do wish I could but you definitely are searching and trying (to go back and connect to an experience when you "trusted" is a prime example and a good one).

    So as I look over your list of "Trust" both of your mom and God ... I ponder your question I think most miss or skip: In what ways do you struggle with trusting God completely? ... and although my list may be lengthy, my struggle is actually more me than Him (if that makes sense) ... my insecurities, my lack, my inabilities, etc. (ouch is right) go in to question much more than God. I love how you are so analytical and vulnerably honest with such a pure motive of getting rid of your worries ... (sigh)! I have trouble just figuring myself out. However, I am content and so blessed to learn from you and rest in my trust of God and how it truly is in His hands. Thank you Sharon for such inspiration and practical points on trust.
    I must admit, I use to trust much more and now I trust less; the things and people in this world and rely on my trust that I place in God.

    Many blessings for a great week and continued prayers and progress for you,
    LOVE... Peggy

  7. What a good mom! We used to have gerbils and I don't think my mom ever babysat them for us. ha.

    I do believe God is able; I just have doubts about him being willing. Lord, forgive my unbelief! Thanks for the encouragement to trust him more, Sharon!

    "Don't worry. I'll take care of it." Amen.

  8. What a good mom you got there, girl. It was sweet how you brought us into the story and how such trust must be the same with God, but most of times it's not. This is why I write from the Yielded Heart. The only way to yield is to trust and trusting comes by knowing His character. The corner of Love and Sovereignty is amazing and (need I say it?) good. Blessings on your head and any other critters ya got hanging around. ~ Chris

  9. In perfect "Sharon-like fashion" you once again turned this experience you had with your mom and the hamsters into a remarkable lesson on trust. You have a precious mom to do this for's no wonder she had a daughter who is such a blessing!

  10. Oh my! I so needed to hear this hamster story and the metaphor about your mom. I may need to copy and print out the TRUST list you've concluded. Currently, I'm in day 5 of my 35 day campaign and the magnitude of what I'm looking at here is overwhelming. This is the place God has led me - no doubt - but in this place, I am called to TRUST and it is a constant battle. When you're in a make it or break it time, it's hard to leave it and walk away with peace - fear and worry buffet on every front. Holding fast - and thankful for your sharing the intimate lessons you're learning with fellow pilgrims on the road.

  11. Telling a story often helps us find answers we ourselves are seeking. I have come to believe that the bad things that happen are really not from God at all. Some are from our own omission, or doing, and some are simply our old enemy trying to get to us. We hold so tightly to "things" both tangible and invisible when God is telling us to just let it go. I love your stories and your illustrations and your scriptures to back up what you say. Thank you for sharing your inspiring post with us here at “Tell Me a Story."

  12. Hamster surgery? Now that is just epic. My mom is the same way-- full of love, grace and gives me peace... I think I need to do some thinking if I view God the same way. So glad I stopped by from SDG. Love you, Sharon! :-)

  13. Loved reading this story as it also makes me think of how we tried for about 3 mos. to nurse our cat after she was diagnosed with cancer :) I loved how you brought it back around to this one foundational truth - whether God does or does not, it does not change that He is able. Glad to be here this morning! Blessings!

  14. wow! There's so much in this post, it needs to be read and re-read. I just love that Trust list. Good stuff and so true! And what a great comparison: Mom/God. How is it that we trust our mothers more than we trust God sometimes? It's a wonderful thing to ponder---that God loves us so much more than our own mother does and who could love us any more fiercely than our own mother? Excellent post. Thank you!

  15. Oh man ... this is a GREAT illustration for all of us as followers of Jesus. So grateful that you shared with us at #TellHisStory. Feeling really blessed to have crossed paths with your great words today!

  16. I completely get your heart. The body, mind, and soul yearns to be delivered. I have to remind myself of all the tough times I've endured along the way and how if I'd have gotten my way I would never have the treasure of wisdom that He meant for me in His true love… which is always the perfect thing. Thanks for the reminder today, Sharon.

  17. The journey to Trust is the most difficult one I've ever taken, but the freedom it brings (as you describe) is so worth it. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms :)

  18. Great post. I'd llove for you to share it on the link up this week at
    God bless.

  19. True words. God is trustworthy! We may not understand His ways but they are always wrapped in His incredible love for us.

  20. That story and devotion is too good not to share!
    Thank you for linking up with WYWW

  21. Oh, dear friend! Your words...they always resonate so deeply with me. I can SO relate to all you said. I miss my much it hurts. I miss the way I could release things to her and just know in my heart that all would be well. It really hit a nerve when you said you thought she sat by the phone just waiting for a call asking her to take care of your boys. I think Mom did the same. Dad died when I was 11 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy, so when our little boy was born 6 1/2 months later, I think he was the sole reason Mom got out of bed in the morning. I think she lived her life just waiting for the sight of him. She died in 2012 when Zach was 11 years old. Oh, tears me up to even talk about it. Your post made me think of Isaiah 66:13, "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted..." If our Moms love us this much and care for us more than they care for themselves, think how much more God must love us? I am praying for you, dear friend. Cherish every moment with your dear Mom...give her a big hug...just for me.

  22. As I read this, I thought - even Mom can't keep all the bad things from happening or make them all better. Sometimes Mom even lets some bad things happen so we can learn from them or because she knows this hurt will lead to a help later (like the blood draw I have to take my 4yr old for today -will probably hurt, but it's leading to healing).God's the same - only on a much bigger scale. Now, to set our hearts to love him as much [MORE] than we love our Mom. That's the hard part! Great post!

  23. I think Sharon, you should put your writing into book form so even more people could benefit from these reads. Your posts are incredibly helpful. Your insights from your personal journey are the best including this one. Great way to show trust and letting go. Have an amazing weekend. I love reading your thoughts.

  24. Wonderful post. Love the illustration of faith using hamsters :).

  25. Trust continues to believe even when things go wrong. Yes, but oh so difficult. Very nice post!

  26. Appreciate your honesty, Sharon. I think we ALL struggle with this. I look at Hebrews 11--at those saints who did NOT see God do what He said He would. He DID it, but they didn't get to see it--and yet, they trusted. What an example!

  27. 4. Trust is relying on someone’s character and not on the outcome of circumstances.
    This line jumped out at me. So so true!

  28. What an awesome and gifted teacher you are! Beautifully done! Beautifully! SO much to glean that I'm going to have to linger here a while.

    Here from Lisha's Give Me Grace. God Bless.

    ~ Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  29. Hi Sharon...we had a hamster named Chewy. He caught the cutest little hamster cold and never recovered. Reading your words remind me of the care we gave him in his final week. There wasn't anything we wouldn't have done. Love your illustration of your mothers practical beautiful love and how God is teaching you to trust Him in the same way. A lesson for all. Thanks so much for sharing with the #GiveMeGrace community.

  30. Whoo!! I needed this, I needed this, I needed this. I love to give God stuff, then take it back so I can worry about it. That is not trust. Thank you for this Word.

  31. Wow, this is deep and I like the way you think! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)