With faith like a child

With no warning at all, arms and legs flailing like flags, my three-year-old flung himself into the hotel swimming pool. Woosh!

As he hit the water, Ben initiated a watery attack on his unsuspecting dad (and everyone within several feet). To Gary’s credit, he managed to catch and launch the boy back to safety. A grand, semi-toothy grin revealed the child’s joy at his successful sneak attack. Once back on solid ground, Ben confidently prepared himself for the second wave. Joined by his sister Abbey, the cannon-balling continued long enough to weary even the most seasoned swimmer.

I must admit I was terrified that Ben just jumped into the pool like that. He had not yet learned to float or tread water, nor that leaping blindly into a four-foot-deep pool was hazardous to his health. Gary and I had entered a new level of parenting. We realized we needed to keep a closer watch on our children and instruct them on matters of pool safety. It was our job to consider those matters because we were the ones in charge. On that day Ben’s role had simply been to trust his daddy to catch him.

As Christians, we talk extensively about faith. What is it? How do I get it? Can I lose it? How do I share it? The questions come at different points in our faith journey, and rightly so. At this time in our world’s history, most of us are experiencing faith-challenging circumstances due to a world-wide pandemic known as COVID-19 or coronavirus. We are all under different levels of government-issued orders to stay at home and wear masks in public. This has changed where and how we work, as well as our bank balances. Some have endured severe illness or even the death of a loved one. The last few months have been difficult at best for everyone; and for some Christians, this has rattled them to the very core.

The fact that life is so different from only a few months ago has served to challenge all of us to consider many questions. Since mid-March, I’ve been asking, “What is God doing while we are all in lockdown?”

Obviously the Creator of heaven and earth does not need my input, so I am in the dark just like everyone else. But I do know that as Christians God’s Spirit living within us, and He empowers us to consider this subject from a unique point of view. And while I am certain God is doing many things during this time in history, I posit that one message He is whispering to us is trust Me.

This Spirit-powered perspective has God’s own words as its fuel. Proverbs 3:5 encourages us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” That is what Ben did that day so long ago when he fearlessly jumped into that pool. He did not know exactly what would happen, but he was at peace and jumped to his Dad fearlessly.

I also love the words of Jesus from Mark 10:15, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” God is highlighting the hope, the trust, the honesty, and the willingness of children to be with Him and keep close to Him no matter what.

I think it is very possible that God is helping us discern whether we trust Him or not. In His kindness, he has put us in the forge of a pandemic to strengthen us. This will reveal our weaknesses, one of which may be a lack of trust in Him, so that we can allow Him to change us. I praise God for Job 23:10, “But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

When my son, Ben, jumped into the pool that day, it was with complete trust. It didn’t even cross his mind that Gary wouldn’t catch him. This knowledge enabled him to jump in with both feet—in faith and with joy. This is what God wants for us.

So I must ask: are you trusting God with your life? Do you trust that He knows about this pandemic and that He is working? If yes, I praise God with you. If your answer is no, or if you aren’t sure, I urge you to connect with a Christian friend or counselor to share your worries. You don’t need to walk this journey alone. Jesus said, “Come​ to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.​ Take my yoke upon you and​ learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ​For my​ yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).

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