By Patti Johnson

Patti has been volunteering with Care for Pastors with The Confidante for Pastors’ Wives for 7 years after she and her husband received counsel from Care for Pastors as a way to give back to the ministry. She joined the Care for Pastors staff in January 2020. Patti is one of the administrators of The Confidante Private Facebook group for pastors' wives and is a regular contributor to weekly blogs. She loves to use her gifts and abilities to support the needs of the ministry. Patti has been married to her Pastor husband Keith for 36 years. They have 3 adult children who all to their delight live in Florida.

    Tested Trust (Part 1)

    Monday, June 03, 2024

    I recently had a challenging question come to mind. One that I answered easily because I believed the answer I gave of “Yes” was true and honest.  The question was “Do I trust God?” The challenge was “Do I trust the people that carry out His plans for me?”

    If God is in charge of all things, and He is for you and not against you…why do I have a hesitancy to trust people?

    God is above all things, therefore, trustworthy without question. People are flawed and make mistakes, lose focus, and let us down. We question people.

    This all came up as a result of having to trust people to carry out what God had set in place. Here is the story…

    Several years ago, we left traditional health insurance and entered into a HealthShare. It was well-researched, well-planned, and the HealthShare we chose had a wonderful long-term reputation of integrity, a smooth well thought out process, and it was Biblically based in its foundation.

    Until recently, I had not had to test any of this out. I trusted it all to be true, but it had not been personally tested.

    Then the bills began to arrive from an unexpected surgery and chemotherapy treatment. I made sure I knew the process to submit bills, kept everything very neatly organized in folders, and even created an impressive Excel worksheet. I felt good that I was keeping up. I kept submitting bills and worksheets of bills paid out of pocket.  Eventually, I had submitted 33 separate submissions. And bills kept coming. I felt like Lucille Ball in the episode of “I Love Lucy” on the candy factory line, the belt that carried the candy to be boxed going faster and faster…

    I reminded myself that God was in control of all this. That He could be trusted to see this through. But there were the people…could I trust them? I read and re-read the guidelines of submitting bills, watched the process move forward, stage by stage in my member portal, prayed, and trusted that God had this all under control to fulfill the mission of the HealthShare. But I was trusting people to work this out, to be the hands and feet, wasn’t I? Could they be trusted?

    I kept believing that God was in charge, and people were carrying out His plans. And then…it happened. Submissions started to get approved, they were in the final stage, a date of transaction was entered, and checks started arriving. As I calculated and checked the amounts against submissions, I was thrilled to see that every penny I submitted was being approved and reflected in those checks. I could not wait to start paying off these bills and returning out of pocket funds to our savings account. I was relieved. I was elated. And I was thankful.

    My trust had been tested, and God prevailed in taking care of every detail. He showed me that I could trust people to carry out His plans.

    Now, I sit on another series of bills that have been submitted, and I wait for people to carry out God’s plans. But this time, I have no doubt that I can trust people that God has in place to test and strengthen my trust.

    God gives us tests for our good. For our future. For His glory.

    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

    As I paid off each bill, I proclaimed that God had worked through a system of people for my good.

    I will never forget the feeling of “Tested Trust” as I watched an astronomical dollar amount, attached to my name, go to zero.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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