Learning to fully trust in God is something I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to grasp.
Recently, I was blissfully swimming in the turquoise, oceanic waters. It was a gorgeous day. The sun was shinning bright, and there was not a cloud in the sky. My friends and I took the day to enjoy the beach and to soak in all of the wonder. The highlight of our trip was diving into the powerful waves, allowing our bodies to experience an aquatic roller-coaster. That evening as I was lying in bed, it occurred to me how potentially dangerous my day could have been. If the tide had been just a little bit higher, if the current had increased in velocity — my friends and I could have been easily swept out into the sea, unable to reach the shore. But I trusted that the ocean would deal graciously with me. I trusted that the odds of nature would be in my favour. My unquestionable faith in the unpredictable forces of the elements gave me a startling realization. It’s so easy to trust in fallible things and people, yet it’s so difficult to trust the infallible Creator.
Maybe it’s because I’m part of the microwave, instant gratification generation. The generation where anything and everything can be Googled. Where faith is about as attractive as dial-up Internet. Everyday, we put our trust in places that could easily fail us. The driver on the other side of the intersection could run a red light. Your spouse could have an affair.
Nothing is ever guaranteed, not even waking up tomorrow. Yet, we continue to go about our lives, in a world where tragedy could strike at any given moment. With the hope that fate will deal gently and grant us another, crisis-free, day. Being young presents this sort of immortal mentality. Our health isn’t (typically) failing; a lot of us don’t have husbands, wives, or babies to worry about. The possibilities are endless, and the world is our playground.
We find it so easy to put our faith in threads that could easily unravel. Or we think we don’t really have a need to trust. We believe in God, but do we really believe Him?
In the Bible, a person of great faith is esteemed with prestige and dignity. Having faith is more valuable than the greatest of riches. But what does it even mean to have great faith? To put all of our hope and trust in God?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Your understanding is how you perceive and absorb information. It’s the result of what you have processed and the conclusions you have drawn. These verses are not saying we need to fully trust God because He is a tyrannical dictator, who doesn’t want us to think for ourselves. We need to not rely on our own understanding, because we don’t really understand anything at all. God is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the universe. So He might know a thing or two.
We are flawed. We are irrational. Trusting in God means knowing that without His wisdom and guidance, we have the potential to really make a mess of things. When the noise and distractions of life are causing you to drown, His spirit is the one who guides you into peace, into understanding. The hardest factor of trust is losing our sense of control. It requires vulnerability and it requires placing our fate into the hands of something that could fail us. Things maybe don’t happen as fast as we like when we hand over the reins. Answers don’t come as quickly as we want.
But when we do fully trust, we can enjoy the sensations of the waves, the flight home, or a loving relationship. Because we trust in a God who is in control, a God who loves us, who has our best interest in mind and who promises to always make our paths straight. No matter how twisted they could be.
Flickr photo (cc) by Peter Ras