In God’s redemptive plan for humanity, He has offered us a loving relationship and a commitment to abide with us. He has extended a hand of cooperation that requires our reaching out to Him and making the choice to believe that He loves us, then to trust Him with our futures and our lives.
God loved us first…but it’s no small thing to actually believe Him, and receive His love. When we’re able to accept His love, we can reciprocate by placing our trust in Him. This trust opens a gate into the broad pasture of His will, into which we are able to walk in confidence—no matter our circumstances—for we believe, we know, that an impenetrable barrier protects us from the world, even while its storms may batter our bodies (2 Timothy 1:12).
As I write, I’m looking out my study window at a small pond, now covered with ice. Last week, my 18-month-old granddaughter—Raina—and I ventured onto the ice. As we approached the edge of the pond, Raina was uncertain, so I stepped out first, explaining how important it is that the ice be thick enough for walking. (I know, she’s only 18 months, but it’s never too early for ice safety!) When I stepped out, she had the confidence to follow. She took my hand and walked—well, slipped and slid, actually. She couldn’t keep her feet together! She reached up, I lifted her high, and we completed our circuit of the pond. A great grandpa memory for me!
Isn’t this like God? Walking ahead of us, guiding our steps, warning against dangers, testing the ice for weak spots? And if the pond can support His weight, how much more can it support ours?
As I spend time alone in conversation with God, asking Him to reveal more of Himself to me, I grow in deeper understanding, and I learn to abide in deeper trust of Him. I discover God’s heart as a Father, my Dad. Here I see that He is bigger than my biggest challenge and that He has a plan for my life. As I abide in trust I also learn to rest in the knowledge of His great goodness.
- God is my dad. Even the greatest of human fathers possesses a catalog of failures. But with God as my father, I’ll never be let down. When I look, I can daily see the big and little ways that He has demonstrated His character. He loved me first, and not because of anything I did to earn His love. He’s a good Father. (Matthew 7:9-11)
- God is bigger. Where was I when God laid the Earth’s foundation? Where were you? Though we weren’t around, God in His power has chosen to grant to us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)! The Bible is full of stories of God’s steadfast love and provision, and our lives testify to this truth: He is able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!
- God has a plan. Even at the times when I am caught off guard by my circumstances, God is never surprised. I’m not sure why we’re walking out here onto this ice, God; it sure doesn’t seem safe. But He knows, and He’s holding onto me (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- God is good. When I gauge my understanding of God’s goodness against my own capacity for goodness, I’m destined to reach the wrong conclusions. But when I look to God’s goodness as it has been revealed in His Word, I can’t escape the truth that I will find my greatest blessing by finding my refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8).
Lord, please help me to trust you as a child trusts her dad (or grandpa)! As a child my granddaughter trusted that I was bigger than the problem she faced. Help me to believe in you this same way, reaching up into your care! Help me to give up control and trust your plan. You are a rock when I am slipping and sliding through life. Help me to be as a little child who rests in your goodness. Amen.