Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Mat. 10:29
When my son was two years old we used to play a game of trust where he would jump into my arms from the roof of our Volkswagen van. I was the one who called it a game of trust. He simply called it fun. I would lift him onto the roof of our van, stand back a few feet, and then invite him to jump off. Without a moment’s hesitation he would leap into my arms. I would then take another step back from the van and call him to jump again. And once more he would fly off the roof into my arms, laughing all the way. I remember doing this after church one Sunday and having a little crowd gather around to watch. It was quite a spectacle to see.
But I will always remember the last time we played this game together. As we had done so many times before I put my son on the roof and waited for him to jump to me. And then I saw it in his face. Whatever thought entered his mind, I knew that it had introduced him to the notion of fear. For the first time in his short life, he had entertained the possibility that I might not actually catch him. I could see the struggle between faith and doubt so evident in his hesitation. It paralyzed him until I went over and helped him down from the roof. And that was the last time we ever played this game together.
It was inevitable that this moment would one day arrive but I wonder if God too has such memories of times when we have chosen fear over faith. Does the Lord remember the first time He saw us hedging our bets, or setting up a back-up plan just in case He didn’t come through for us? What does God see on our face whenever we entertain the possibility that He might not actually catch us? And what would it take for us to return to that child-like trust where, without hesitation, we would gladly jump into God’s arms? As you anticipate the coming year, how might this apply to something that God is inviting you to trust Him with?
There is no more direct way of honouring another person than by expressing our trust in them. We withhold trust when we are uncertain about a person’s motives or competence. We hesitate to rely on someone if we’re not sure they can be counted on to deliver or to succeed in a task. We lack confidence in someone if we doubt that their word or promises are really worth anything. And we are naturally more cautious if we suspect a person’s intentions might not be in our favour.
To exercise trust in God then is to express faith that God’s character is good, that He is up for the task, and that we expect Him to be faithful to His word. It also honours God that we are at peace in the certainty that He has our best interests in mind. Trusting God then is the most direct means we have of honouring the trustworthiness of His character. In the coming year, the many ways by which we express such confidence in God’s faithfulness will surely be what most touches our Father’s heart.