For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
My daughter Britta has perfect faith in me. Each morning, before we go downstairs, she stands at the top of the stairs, reaches out and falls forward, confident that I will catch her. Each morning I catch her, she lays her head on my shoulder, and snuggling, we walk down the stairs to begin the day.
She has no reason to trust me, other than the fact that we have a relationship and she hasn't fallen yet. Britta has great faith in me and I love it. It feels great to stand below her, looking up at her, knowing she trusts me to keep her safe
Paul says that God wants us to have this kind of faith in him. He wants us to reach out to him, arms wide and fall into his mercy. He wants us to trust him unconditionally, just as he loves us unconditionally.
The problem with this concept for me is that I don't want to put that kind of trust in God. When I am standing on my own two feet, I feel strong, the minute I begin to fall, I lose control and get scared. There is a saying that you have to take e a "leap of faith". I think that is the perfect illustration. It makes no sense to leave this solid ground to fall uncontrollably into God's hands. However, without that leap, we never get the change to rest in his arms, confident that he will carry us through this life and the next. We never get that snuggle as we go down the stairs.
I went through a period of time recently, where I was irritable with everyone in my house. I didn't have the patience to deal with the constant demands, arguing, requests for help, questions, etc. that come along with being in a family of five. So I snapped, I was sarcastic, I rolled my eyes and became frustrated. I felt awful. It wasn't working for me. I was struggling to maintain control, yet I was on a roller coaster of emotions.
I decided that rather than just spending time in prayer and devotional reading at night, I would begin the day thanking God for the gifts in my life and asking for his help in handling them. I acknowledge that without him, I am out of control. So each morning, I reach out to him and fall into his arms, knowing he will guide me through the day. He will help me maintain my patience. But even more than that, he will give me peace. That's the snuggle as we go down the stairs. And for that I am grateful.
I'd like to think that just as I enjoy the feeling of joy I feel at Britta's unconditional trust in me, God enjoys my trust in him. I think that as we develop our relationship with each other, that trust grows stronger and it is easier to take the leap. I hope that on the days that I take God's presence and mercy for granted, he rejoices in the fact that we are intimate.
You want us to trust that you will care for us. Help us to reach out to you. Give us confidence as we fall into your arms each morning. Give us peace as we place our trust in you. Help us to do your will in this world so that others can know this peace as well.