“Oh, I trust him, it’s just that…” Sounds familiar? Trust seems such a basic thing, and in a way it is. How many of us expect the glass of water we dropped to hit the ceiling? Why not? Why do we trust ‘natural laws’? (As an aside, they’re not natural laws, they’re God holding this world in His Hands). So how can we have this same kind of unshakeable faith when it comes to trusting God?
Trust like a Child
One of the things I learned is the importance of the first few weeks and months in a baby’s life. You know, those weeks when they simply, sleep, cry, feed, need cleaning up, and sleep again? Yes, those weeks. Those weeks are essential. And then the early toddler years, where they drop a toy from their highchair, and you pick it up, only for them to drop it again. And again…and again… It’s essential. You see, it builds trust, it builds a picture of this world and it’s ‘natural’ laws. It shows them your trustworthiness, and how they are loved and cared for by you. This means that when they’re older, asking for a snack, you tell them, “Not now,” and they trust you. When you tell them you’ll be waiting at the school gates in the afternoon, they nod and smile, for they trust you.
We might get tired of the same old games, but children need those games. It is how they learn. When they are little, they simply trust us, but they trust us in small things, asking for small matters. We can be like that too when we first come to know Christ. We have so many needs, so many requests, and big dreams. We can see ourselves turning the hearts of millions of men and women. Like children, thinking they’ll grow up into hero firefighters. And you know, we might, just like our children might become heroes, saving people’s lives. That might not be God’s plan for our lives though, just like our child might become a humble secretary in a humble company, showing kindness, faithfulness trustworthiness and grace to all they work for. We might be called to serve God in small matters, as it’s not the size of the job that matters. Over and over Paul points out that we were adopted, not to conquer worlds, but to the praise of His glory. Do we trust God with the outcome of our lives? Do we feel, like adopted children often do, that we have to earn our rights to belong, to be part of a family? Do we feel we have to prove to God that He made a good choice when He placed us in His family? Or do we trust Him when he says in verse 5 that He predestined us unto adoption according to the good pleasure of His will?
When we’re faithless, God is faithful
When children are adopted, trust is a massive issue. Watching my children, I learned more about being adopted into God’s family. When my children see me dishing out food, they trust me to feed them. When it’s lunchtime, and I’m finishing another task, they are very anxious. Have I forgotten? When I tell them that no, they can’t have chocolate as I’m dishing up dinner, they cry, Nobody loves me, I never get what I want! Aren’t we like that too? When we pray, we acknowledge that we trust God as our Heavenly Father, but we’re anxious, because our prayer doesn’t seem answered, and we expected the answer to arrive Tuesday, and now it’s Thursday already. Has God forgotten us? How often do we find bitter thoughts come into our minds because the answer we were given didn’t match our finite ideas?
We clipped a family photograph onto our children’s bag when they went to school and nursery. That photo had our family on there, as a token of their belonging. We would point at the picture and explain that we would pick them up, we would never forget them, never desert them. After all, we were a family, and the picture was proof of that, like a seal. Paul mentions a similar thing in Ephesians 1:13. We heard, believed and trusted, and we were given the Holy Spirit as a seal, to remind us and assure us of our inheritance in Heaven. The Spirit points us to the Word of God and reminds us of our salvation and the fact that we’re in Christ. My children doubt us, they wonder if we will be there at the end of the day. They look at the photo, and there might be a bit more hope in their hearts… What happens when we look at God’s promises? Do we trust His Word explicitly, or do we say, Well, I can’t imagine a Holy God wanting someone like me in His family?