Child-like trust

My kids once thought their Dad was the smartest guy in the world, could fix anything, and always knew exactly what to do. As little children, they trusted me with their lives, literally. It was my God-given responsibility (and privilege) to teach them about the world they lived in, how to interact with other people, the meaning of life, and even about God Himself. Good thing I didn’t spend too much time pondering that idea, for even writing it makes me feel overwhelmed! With maturity, they have come to realize that Dad is an ordinary mortal. Sure, they call for advice now and again, but they know that I speak from a place of limited knowledge and experience. They still trust me, but not in the same way they did when they were 5; and that is a very good thing!

We should never out-grow our complete trust in God! But, often we do. As we become more sophisticated in our grasp of the teaching of Scripture, we learn to ‘explain away’ the promises of God. Jesus once brought a little child to the center of the circle of friends He was teaching and told them, “Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:15) How I pray for a heart that comes to my Lord with child-like simplicity, that trusts Him without arguing, that accepts each day from Him without demanding that He act differently! How about you?

Our experiences in life require that we work at trusting Him, don’t they? I read a story from the life of King David today. David wanted to do a good thing and bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. (The Ark was the symbolic dwelling place of God among His people.) His enthusiasm for the task outran his knowledge of the right way to do it. Instead of putting the Ark on poles, carried on the shoulders of priests, in the manner God demanded in the Law, David put the Ark in a cart. It seemed like the right thing to do, but it wasn’t God’s way. When the cart shook on the bumpy road, Uzzah reached out to steady it and as he touched it, God judged him and he died! Take note of how David reacted to this tragedy – “Then David got angry because of God’s deadly outburst against Uzzah. . . .David became fearful of God that day and said, “This Chest is too hot to handle. How can I ever get it back to the City of David?” (2 Samuel 6:8-9, The Message)

When God acts in ways I cannot understand and/or allows things to happen that do not make sense, I find myself angry and fearful, too. Word reached me on Sunday about a tragedy. A friend in ministry lost his 18 year old daughter in a car crash during the snow storm last Friday. I wept for Craig. And I was upset with God! “Is this the way You treat those who love and serve You? Who will ever trust You if you let things like this happen to people who give themselves wholeheartedly to You?” The Holy Spirit was gentle with me and after I spouted off, I felt His gentle whisper – “Jerry, let your mind and heart become child-like. I know what I am doing! Pray for Craig and Cindy to be sustained by faith and to take new solace from my promise of eternal life.” So, I did! The sorrow I feel for that couple is mitigated by a choice to trust God’s wisdom and providence in a situation that appears to have no ‘up’ side, at all.

On this side of Eternity, some (should I say, many?) of our ‘why questions’ will have no apparent answers. We can demand that God give us a reason, and remain furious with Him, cutting ourselves off from knowing His peace and comfort. Or, we can pray for a child-like trust that accepts each day from His hand with thanksgiving. That, my friend, reveals true spiritual maturity. When we trust Him like that, we show that we are growing in our understanding of His majesty and greatness. I’m not talking about the insincere, chirpy ‘faith’ chatter that passes for trusting God in some circles! Too often that is just a cover for great insecurity or is a perceived way to get God to do what we want Him to do by saying the right things, even those things we don’t really believe.

Child-like faith admits anger and frustration with His ways, but steps over the barrier of ‘why’ and trusts Him anyway and shows that trust with total obedience!
Do you trust Him today? Really trust Him in a way that causes you to obey Him completely, even when the sinful nature screams to do things differently?

Here’s a passage for your meditation today. May the Word inform your faith and make it strong today.

“We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them. What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?” (Romans 8:28-31, CEV)
Amen.

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