This past summer we spent a lot of time swimming at my uncle’s pool. He just built a new house and he added a beautiful in-ground pool. It is about 3 feet deep in the shallow end and eight feet deep in the deep end.
My son, who is 8 years old, asked me to stand about halfway between the deep and shallow ends and catch him as he ran and jumped into the pool. So time and again I would lift him up out of the water and place him on the edge of the pool. He would back up five or six steps. I would back up five or six steps in the water.
He would get a running start and jump towards me with a splash.
My job was simple: catch him as he leapt towards me and keep him from completely submerging in the water.
It was going fine until someone called my name and I turned my head to respond.
I caught sight of Joel in my peripheral vision just in time to turn my head and get nailed by sixty pounds of boy. It knocked me back and we banged heads and both went under the water.
We came up choking and laughing and making sure we were ok.
No harm was done but I learned a valuable lesson.
It all comes down to trust.
I am Joel’s dad. Because of his knowledge of me and our past shared experiences he trusts me completely.
In the pool that day, I had been there to catch him dozens of times. He would jump and I would catch.
It was a simple as that.
As Christians it is sometimes not that simple for us. Many of you have been Christians for a long time, but you still wouldn’t jump into the arms of your Heavenly Father because you just don’t trust him enough.
Perhaps you are leaning on your own understanding of situations or you feel like God somehow let you down before. Either way, you cling to the edge of the pool and won’t jump in the deep end of your faith into God’s waiting arms.
Here is the question you have to ask yourself:
It is time for you to grow up as a Christian and live the life that God has put before you.
The irony of this type of trust is that once we fully place our trust in God it is not near as mentally taxing as the worry we carry when we try to rely on our own strength.
God knows exactly what you need and he knows exactly what steps you need to get there.
How do I build that kind of trust?
It is difficult to build trust with someone without a relationship. I wouldn’t trust a total stranger with my wallet the way I would with my wife. I know my wife has my best interests in mind; I can’t say the same with certainty about a stranger.
The more you know of how God worked in the past, the more certain you can be of how he will work in your future.
If God is a stranger to you it will be awfully hard to trust him.
Here are a few steps you can take to build that trust in God and grow up in your faith:
- Read the stories of Abraham leaving his home, Peter walking on water, and Paul trusting God from a jail cell. What do they have in common? They were all listening to the voice of God and trusting in him. When you see how God worked in the past you will see how he can work in your future.
- Think of a situation you are struggling with right now. Make a list of all the things that you have done to solve it on your own. On the other side of the page write down, “Do I trust God in this situation?” Turn it over to God and commit to pray fervently and follow God’s guidance.
- Quit being such a control-freak. If you want to truly be used by God you have to give up control. He cannot use you when you are clinging to the edge of the pool. For you that may be material things or your personal comfort. If you truly trust that God knows what is best for you, let go and see where God leads you.
- Create a trust journal. List all the times that God has carried you through a dark situation. It may be a financial reversal, a health scare, an uncertainty with a job, or something else. With the benefit of hindsight write down how you trusted (or should have trusted God) in those situations. What patterns emerge? Did he prove himself trustworthy?
Growing up and trusting God doesn’t just happen for most people. We tend to be skeptical by nature. However, God has given us the entire Bible as a testament to is faithfulness and trustworthiness.
If you start to lean more on God’s word and less on your own understanding of your circumstances you will see your trust grow and your worry diminish.
What is one big situation you are having to trust God with right now? Let me know in the comments section below.