I’m a big fan of television medical dramas. Recently, I have been rewatching episodes of ER on Hulu. Often when a trauma patient is being assessed by doctors, the medical professionals will tell the patient to be calm and stop fighting. They are trying to help the one who is wounded and hurting. Helping them takes longer and produces more risks when the patient is struggling against them.

When I think of the gentleness fruit of the Spirit, I think of a patient who decides to calm herself enough to let the doctors work. She trusts in their expertise and allows them to perform procedures that will stop the hurting and begin a healing process. She follows their advice so that her body can once again be strong. She is wise enough to know that fighting only prolongs the process and the hurt.

Isn’t the same true in our relationship with God? Looking back over situations in my life, I can see how I fought against or argued with God over the unfolding of circumstances. When times were uncertain, I wanted answers faster than they came. When change was inevitable, I longed for the security of what had been. When life failed to meet my expectations, I needed someone to blame. Instead of trusting in God’s faithfulness, I sat stubbornly in my disappointment or fear.

But as I have spent more time with Jesus, His trustworthiness has become more evident. I better realize the personal application of His promises. Jesus’ final words in the Gospel of Matthew remind His followers that He never leaves us. He is always with us. When I am tempted to fight Him on whatever is happening in my life, I need to recall that truth. He stays right with me. He is trustworthy. I can lean into that and let go of the fighting.

What is going on in your life that produces tension between you and God? Where are you struggling to trust Him and allow Him to work things out in His way and in His timing? We all face the same choice when living in that uncomfortable place. Will we wrestle, argue, and plead our case? Or will we gently surrender to the leading of the One who knows and loves us best?