When Trusting God is Hard for the Abused

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

Of course I can trust, but only trustworthy people.

The young man cupped his hands and stared into them. When he was five years old his father abandoned the family, and his mother, a sex trade worker, began “training” her son for the same occupation. She kept him from befriending kids on the block, yet welcomed adult visitors to their home. They wanted only one thing from the boy.

Now, as a young adult, he struggles mightily to trust anyone, and how can one blame him? The mother who should have nurtured him took advantage of him; the father who could have protected him didn’t care. No wonder he thinks everyone has evil intentions.

Our own situation may be less grave, yet we have all experienced broken trust. It shows up when people fail to live up to normal expectations. Parents don’t always protect, friends don’t always keep promises, and employers don’t always treat staff fairly. As we journey through life, people let us down, and it hurts.

Convincing ourselves that God is trustworthy is difficult under these situations because God may appear like that parent or friend or boss that abused their role. The Psalmist provides helpful pictures of God to remind us that He can be trusted. Like an eagle with its young under wing, like a shield for a soldier, or a tall wall for a city — He faithfully protects us from many of life’s problems. And for the struggles that remain, He walks alongside as a friend.

How do you see God? Have people jaded your belief in His trustworthiness? Are you able to see that He remains a faithful protector who can help you trust again?

Dear God, people have let me down and it’s hard to trust them. Thank You for your faithfulness in walking with me, supporting me, and shielding me. Help me trust again. Amen.

By Dr. Bill Strom
used by permission

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