Can I Trust God When Life Is Scary? [Episode 303]

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We’re in the middle of our Summer Sizzle here on the 4:13 where we’re featuring your most shared episodes of the podcast. And today, we’re bringing back Episode 48: “Can I Trust God When Life is Scary?”, because we all face hard things and have to deal with life’s uncertainties. And when we’re hurting, our heads can become cloudy and our hearts so heavy that we feel we can’t bear the weight of our next decision.

So on this episode, I’ll share what I did with the unknowns surrounding my lumpectomy. You’ll get a spiritual to-do list based on Proverbs 3:5-6 to help you face the hard things with faith and fight fear with the Word of God.

Life is uncertain, and we don’t always know if things are going to turn out okay. But whether it’s a scary medical diagnosis or another unsettling situation, you’ll learn you don’t have to understand everything to trust God with everything.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Trust God When Life Is Scary? [Episode 303]

K.C. Wright: It is hot out there, and that means it's time again for a Summer Sizzle episode on The 4:13. We've been featuring your most shared episodes, and they've been so practical and inspiring.

Well, today on Episode 303, Jennifer is answering another 4:13 question: Can I trust God when life is scary? And we all face hard things that absolutely freak us out and make us want to hide. So today you will get the biblical wisdom and practical encouragement you need to face the hard things with faith and punch fear in the face with the Word of God.

So here we go, family.

Jennifer Rothschild: When we're hurting, our heads are cloudy and our hearts feel so heavy that we just feel we can't bear the weight of our next decision. You know what I'm talking about? We feel stressed and disoriented and we don't always feel capable of pulling off the small things that we need to do, much less the big things that our soul really needs, like trusting God and praying. I've been there. When I was facing all the unknowns that go with a lumpectomy, the simplest tasks felt so complicated. And the big spiritual ones? Well, they weren't easy either.

So today I'm going to give you a Scripture-based to-do list for when you're hurting, and it's going to help you get through those stressful, hurtful, difficult situations. Hope and health is on the way, and so is my friend K.C. So take it away, brother.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you to live the "I Can" life, because you, my friend, can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, here she is with her 4:13 mug full of black coffee, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, because strong women drink strong coffee.

And I'll tell you, K.C., I'm dealing with allergies. So I know you can probably hear in my voice if you've listened to us for a while, I sound just a little bit like I've got something in there. I do. And so I'm trying to flush it out with black coffee. But I am here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of by living this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

K.C. Wright: It's just two friends, one topic, and zero stress every single week. And can we just say, seriously, thank you for listening. Can I just put that right in here? Our hearts give you a standing ovation for making us a part of your week, week after week. We cannot thank you enough for listening, for sharing, and for writing a very kind review.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: And actually, before we get to the 4:13 question, I got to give a shout out to some of you 4:13ers who left such great comments and reviews. This is from JesusRadioGirl. I love that.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. It's a great name.

K.C. Wright: She said, "Best use of my time connecting here. I get excited when I see a new episode notification. It's a highlight in a great day. And in a not-so-great day, it's hope-filled truth to steer my mind and heart back to an attitude of perseverance. So thanks for making us smile and bringing a light-hearted atmosphere. Truly, this gathering is a soft place to land, but with encouragement to get us back up again. After all, it is about Philippians 4:13."

Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't that great?

K.C. Wright: And Jen11-10 said it is perfect for her. She's from Springfield, has so much in common with Jennifer. She could listen every day if there were enough episodes. She loves how spiritually practical this podcast is. And that's an answer to one of our prayers, that review, because that's our heart. We want to be real, we want to be practical.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: We don't want to tie a little spiritual bow onto the most painful things in life. We want to be authentic and true and just us.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: And we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

K.C. Wright: Thank you so much.

Jennifer Rothschild: But we do appreciate your reviews. We appreciate you. So thank you so much.

And, you know, that leads us to this idea of how we can do all things. Right? How is it? Especially how can we trust God when life is scary? Because you may be facing something, or you may know someone who is, that is just draped in uncertainty. You just don't know what's going to happen. You may have gotten a diagnosis, you may have had a job change, your child may have made a decision that has kind of jarred your world, and you really need to trust God because life is scary. And so that's what we're going to talk about today, how you can do that. And I've actually got you a spiritual to-do list based on Scripture that, of course, you can do through God's grace, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

And so before I share with you what that verse is and what the to-do list is, let me tell you when I created this to-do list. It was several years ago. And like many women, I had gone to a mammogram. And this particular time, though, I got a call back. And when I got the call back, of course I had to do another biopsy. And then I get a call -- I'm speeding through this story, by the way, for you. I get another phone call from a surgeon. Okay? Now, it was set up as an appointment for this surgeon to call me and my husband, Phil. And so I remember us sitting in my office, and we had the phone on speaker sitting in front of us. And the surgeon explained that they had detected, of course in both breasts, two places that really -- they looked like some angry cells that needed to come out because they were dangerous.

And so in this conversation, as the doctor is explaining this to me and explaining what the procedure would be, he's, of course, giving all the logistics. And I'm thinking, as he's saying all this, oh, my goodness, Aunt Carol just had breast cancer. And Aunt Carol had a mastectomy. And we all know the genetic influence in family members when it comes to breast cancer, so, of course, I got to be honest, I was getting scared. And when the surgeon finished all of his conversation and we thanked him and said goodbye, my husband looks over at me and he says, "Okay. It'll be okay. It'll be okay." And I remember when he said that, I thought, will it? It might not. It might not. It wasn't okay for Aunt Carol; it may not be okay.

But as I processed all that, I had this spiritual sense of the presence of the Lord that reminded me that even if it wasn't okay, I was going to be okay. Okay? Even if it wasn't going to be okay, I was going to be okay either way. And so the passage that I began to cling to right away -- because I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to feel. That passage that I began to cling to right away was Proverbs 3:5-6. And it became for me this to-do list.

So, K.C., would you read us Proverbs 3:5-6.

K.C. Wright: Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he, God, will direct your paths." And by the way, this verse is a free download. It's beautiful and will remind you of the truth you can trust God, whatever you face. When we're done, just simply go to the Show Notes at and you can download it right there just for you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And those verses, I believe, can become for you, just like they did for me, kind of a spiritual to-do list. And so I'm going to break it down, because what happens when we've got something hard or difficult or scary or disorienting, truly, we can't figure out what to do. And so when this became for me a to-do list, I literally would run through it in my head. And I would just do what the verse said, and it helped me to process and get through. So if you're hurting, or if you know somebody who is, let me give you my three things. Okay? It's a three-thing to-do list. Okay?

First, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Okay? That's what the verse says, right? It begins with, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." Okay, that's all your heart. Not just some of your heart. All of it. So to trust God with all of your heart means that you hold nothing back. You hold nothing back. You don't just trust him with the good stuff; you trust him with all your stuff. We often hold back part of our hearts because of fear, or maybe we just feel this need to self-protect. But y'all, this is God we're talking about here. He is totally worthy of your trust because he is totally trustworthy.

I remember when I laid on that hospital bed waiting for the procedure for the lumpectomy to begin -- you know how sometimes you have to wait, you get there early and you hurry up and wait? And I remember when I was laying there, that was all I prayed, "Lord, I trust you. With all I've got, I trust you. I trust you, Lord, with all I've got." Simple words. I know they're not easy to pray sometimes, and I know also they're not easy to mean, but you can pray that simple prayer, "Lord, I trust you with all of my heart." Because when we're hurting, what do we have to lose, right? You might as well trust him. You got nothing to lose.

I remember laying there with nothing but the potential of a bad outcome. But I also did have the potential of a good outcome. But, of course, what was I focusing on? What did my mind continually gravitate to? The potential bad outcome. Trusting God in that moment was the least risky and the most wise thing that I could do. So that's what I did with my whole heart, I trusted him. And I trusted him with the surgeon and I trusted him with the doctors and I trusted him with the outcome and I trusted him with my fear and I trusted him with the future.

So if you're hurting and you just absolutely don't know what to do, the first and best thing you can do is trust him with all you've got. And when you trust him with all you've got, then you realize he's really all you need.

K.C. Wright: We can trust him with everything in our lives. So don't just trust God with the good stuff; trust him with all your stuff.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, all your stuff.

Okay. Let me get to the second on the to-do list, and it's the second part of that verse. "Lean not on your own understanding." Lean not, or don't lean, on your own understanding. So think about it. When we're leaning on our own understanding, we're relying on ourselves, our wisdom and our plan. Think about it. What happens when you lean on something? Okay? Like, if you're in a position right now where you could just fully lean your weight on something, just do that for just a second. Just feel what it feels like to completely lean on something. So what's happening? When you lean on something, you're resting your weight on it, right? You expect that whatever you're leaning on is going to steady you and hold you up.

Now, our understanding is not always strong enough to lean on. Let's be super honest here. Our understanding is not always strong enough to lean our whole selves upon, to rest our whole weight upon, expecting that it's going to support us and hold us up. Now, it's our tendency to try to understand, to try to figure it out, to rely on our own plan, but we can't do that. And here's why. We don't see the whole picture, so we can't understand the whole plan. You cannot see the whole picture, so you cannot understand the whole plan.

K.C. Wright: When you lean on you, you just multiply the weight you are carrying. You feel like you've got the whole world on your shoulders, and then the smallest thing will just knock you over. That's why you need to lean on God instead. If he's got the whole world in his hands, like the song says, he's holding you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: So it's okay if you don't understand. You don't have to understand everything to trust in the living God who has begun a good work in you and will complete it until the day of Christ. And he's got you. He's got this. You can trust God with everything.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I remember during that season, I didn't understand the why and the timing of my cancer scare. So I was diagnosed with the breast cancer right before -- or no, actually -- I'm sorry. It was just when I finished filming the videos for my Missing Pieces Bible study.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: And you know what the subtitle of Missing Pieces is?

K.C. Wright: What?

Jennifer Rothschild: Real Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my goodness.

Jennifer Rothschild: Bingo.

K.C. Wright: Bingo.

Jennifer Rothschild: It didn't make any sense. It didn't make any sense to me. But here's the thing. It didn't have to. There's a great relief that we experience when we release our need to understand and just trust God anyway. So if you're hurting, don't lean on your own understanding. Your own understanding will always be incomplete. But instead, lean on God instead because his plan is complete and his provision will be complete for you.

K.C. Wright: Okay. Third way has to be the end of this verse.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: "In all your ways, acknowledge him." Acknowledge God in all your ways.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Okay, that's exactly it. So when you're hurting, you might not know what to do. But there's still lots of things you have to do, right? I mean, there's the practical things you have to get done. And so sometimes when you're in that kind of fog, it's hard to just know how to continue to proceed. You just take the next right step. And as you do, you acknowledge him. Okay?

Now, what does that mean to acknowledge him? To acknowledge means that you know and you recognize. That's what it means to acknowledge something or someone. It means you know and you recognize. So when you trust God with all your heart, you're acknowledging, you're knowing, and you're recognizing that he is fully trustworthy. When you lean on him rather than your own understanding, you're acknowledging, you're knowing, you're recognizing that his ways may not be the same as your ways, but you can go with his way, right? When you acknowledge him, that means you're knowing and you're recognizing him. You are affirming that -- you're affirming what you know to be true about him, and then you're able to see that truth in your situation.

And so sometimes, guys, let's be honest, when you're in a difficult situation, even just making that phone call feels overwhelming. That's when you put your hand on the phone and you acknowledge him in all your ways. Lord, I trust you. Lord, I'm not leaning on my own understanding. Lord, I'm going to know and recognize that you are sovereign and in control right now, so help me to make this phone call. I'm acknowledging you in all my ways. It goes to that level of the intricacies of getting through something, just doing the next right thing. And it also applies to the big underpinnings of just praying and trusting, acknowledging him, knowing him, recognizing him in all your ways. So for me, acknowledging him in all my ways, it helped me to understand that no matter the outcome of my surgery, even if it wasn't going to be okay, that I was going to be okay.

So if you're hurting, acknowledge him. Know and recognize that he is with you, he's caring for you, he's supporting you, and he's making sure that you will be okay.

K.C. Wright: And then there is the result of those three things, and he will direct your paths.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that's the last part.

K.C. Wright: It comes with a promise. God will direct your heart and your steps.

My friend, you don't have to know what to do. You can trust him. Lean more on his wisdom than your own and acknowledge him, and in that acknowledging and leaning, you will absolutely be blown away as he does truly direct you and your path. He makes the crooked path straight for you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, he does. You know, in my situation, K.C., the surgeon was able to get all those scary cells and all the compromised tissue out and so my margins came back clear. And that is like the best outcome -- right? -- that anyone could hope for when it comes to this, and I'm so grateful. And I know as you're listening, your outcome may have been different or someone you love may have had a very difficult outcome. And I hate that for you. My heart goes out to you. Because I stood on the edge of what that feels like, and it's scary.

But this I do know for me. My healing journey spiritually in my heart did not come from that good outcome. It happened all along the way as God continued to direct my path. He put me on a path of trusting him no matter what. He guided me down a path of dependence on him rather than depending on my own understanding and my own plans. He cleared the way before me so that I really could acknowledge him. I could know him, I could see him and recognize him in my hurt and in the whole process. So my friend, the best comfort and the best healing does not come from a great outcome. It comes from a relationship with God along the way. And that's what I want for you. So if you're hurting and you just do not know what to do, I promise you, God is right now clearing a way for you to walk in. He is doing this for you. He's directing your paths, so trust him and take the next step.

K.C. Wright: I've got to share real quick Proverbs 16:3 from the Amplified. "Roll your works upon the Lord. Commit and trust them wholly to him. He" -- God -- "will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to his will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed." That is a promise --

Jennifer Rothschild: That is a promise.

K.C. Wright: -- you can take to the bank.

You can get a free download of all these verses, Proverbs 3:5-6, at So go there and print one for you and somebody you know who needs some hope and encouragement.

And please do share this podcast too. And as you listened, you may have thought of a friend or a coworker. Share this with them. Remember, whatever you face, however you feel, remember you're never alone -- we never walk alone -- and you can do all things through Christ who gives you all the strength you need.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you can.


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