Have you ever done one of those trust exercises where you stand in front of someone and fall back into their arms hoping beyond measure they will catch you? I remember in high school doing this. I was quite skeptical to place my life literally into this girls hands because I barely knew her. I mean was she strong enough? Was she paying attention? Was she as invested as I was in my safety and care? But when you’re in high school and the teacher says you must, well then you must. But I still held out my arms to catch myself just in case…
Recently I have been thinking about my faith and about how much I really trust God.
You see when good things happen and I see results, my faith soars. But when bad things happen and I feel God is nowhere to be found my faith falters. So who is this God that I profess as my Lord and can I depend on Him no matter what?
When I first learned who Christ really is and what He came to do for me, I was on fire! I bowed my head confidently in prayer in the college cafeteria. I told people about Jesus’ love without shying away. I even wore a pin that said, “Jesus lives here.” And I will admit I begged my devoted mother to put a bumper sticker on her car that said, “Honk if you love Jesus.” Full on- in your face -here I am- Christian.
I had that much confidence in God that I wanted more than anything to share Him with others.
Then hardships came and prayers weren’t answered. I became a little confused about my faith. When people started avoiding me because of my zealousness I became quieter. When my desire to be accepted took over my desire to glorify God I stopped bowing my head in public places.
I had lost sight of who God IS.
God who created the universe. God who is in all, was before all and knows all that will be. God who came to earth just so I can live in eternity with Him. God who in His Word promises abundant life among a thousand other things.
I lost sight of the fact that God is not an idol made by human hands but who made both humans and the gold, silver and bronze from which man makes gods.
I had stopped trusting God, His love, His Word and His plan for me.
You see when bad things happen or things don’t work out like we want, when we get hurt or left out or left behind, when people we love die or circumstances occur that are too painful or terrible to bear, we tend to blame God or at a minimum become disappointed with Him because we feel He didn’t catch us.
The difference in whether we can fall freely into His heart or put our arms out to catch ourselves lies in how well we KNOW God.
God can be known.
It is a matter of spending time reading His Word, in fellowship of other believers, and in worship. Like establishing a relationship with a friend, it takes time and experiences.
And the more we come to know Him, rely on Him, go through the dark days of life with Him, the more we realize we can trust Him. When He is silent or things don’t turn out the way we had hoped, we can know there is a reason and this loving Father of ours is teaching or protecting and even comforting us during our pain.
And the more we know Christ the easier it is to fall back, eyes closed and let go, knowing He will catch us in His loving embrace.
It is, after all, a trust exercise.