Trust the Lord Completely – Don’t Ever Trust Yourself!

Filed in Stress & Anxiety by on January 22, 2014 1 Comment

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I wish I could take credit for this saying, but actually it is my all-time favorite Bible quote. I like it so much I’ve considered having it tattooed on my inner arm as a constant reminder to place my trust where it belongs.

I will give a couple of examples of how this advice has served me so well over the years, starting with lesser incidents, and progressing to more serious situations.

I suffer from chronic anxiety, so I’ll occasionally feel panicky in what most people would consider pretty routine situations. Let’s say we’re going out to dinner on a Saturday night with friends, and I am a passenger in my friends’ car. I might suddenly have a mild panic attack because I’m not “in control,” driving the car. These uncomfortable feelings can often escalate when I realize I have no easy way to gain control, and that if I were to say something to my friends and wife, I would be very embarrassed. This might seem quite odd to many of you, but it is part and parcel of living with anxiety. Since I don’t feel like I can rely on or trust myself in this circumstance, I ask God if He will take over for me. He always does, and within a few moments, I feel reassured and calm again.

My father passed away about a year ago. I offered to say the eulogy at his funeral mass and began preparations. I was feeling a little anxious about what I considered to be such an important assignment. When I mentioned to my best friend from college that I was going to do the eulogy, he unintentionally added to my fears when he remarked, “That’s going to be really tough. Do you have a ‘Plan B’ in case you get up there and can’t finish it?” Now I was in full panic mode. So I said to myself, “I may not be able to fully rely on just myself in this difficult situation. But in my heart, I feel strongly that I owe my dad an excellent, heartfelt, and complete eulogy. God, can you take over for me?” Well, the eulogy ended up going really well, so much so that my son remarked afterward, “You had them eating out of your hands!”

One last example. I was about thirty years old, married, and with two young children. I often felt the pressure of being the primary breadwinner and having responsibility for a family, house, etc., as many people do. Then I received the news that the company I was working for was being bought out, and that the corporate office I worked at would be closed. I was going to be let go within a few short weeks. Yikes! I felt overwhelmed. What if I couldn’t find another job right away? How would we pay the mortgage? The responsibilities that felt a little onerous before my job loss now felt crushingly heavy. So I just gave it all over to God. Help! This allowed me to more calmly proceed with my job search, and I ended up finding a new job within a couple of weeks. Whew!

It’s interesting how my perspective has changed as I mature. I now almost (not quite) look forward to having an unforeseen circumstance arise in my life for which I need God’s assistance! I view it as an opportunity to set my perspective back to where it should always be, trusting and relying on God, and not myself, in everything I do. He does a spectacularly better job of running my life than I do. I can be so weak, misguided, and foolish…well, human, I guess.

And so God implores each of us:

I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you, and you can give me glory.

(Psalms 51:14,15)

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (1)

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  1. Kathy says:

    Thanks for sharing such meaningful, personal experiences, Tim. It’s reassuring to know how others deal with stress and difficult situations in their lives.

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