DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Trusting God
I remember when I was a kid in Boy Scouts we did some trust activities. We would stand facing one direction and we would have to fall backwards and trust that the boys standing behind us would catch us. I remember the first time doing this activity having a difficult time thinking they would actually catch me. I thought they might let me fall.
I remember looking back a couple of times to see if they were actually there. I just knew they would pull back at the last moment and watch me fall, laughing at me as I lay in pain on the floor. When I finally mustered the courage to really let go, they caught me. It was an interesting feeling. I wanted to do it again, and they caught me the second time, too.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. I really could trust those guys. We all liked to pull pranks on each other, but when the chips were down we really could trust each other. Something changed inside me that day; I felt closer to the guys in my group. I imagine we all felt closer to each other, which I believe is part of the reason leaders have people in a group do this activity.
With Christmas right around the corner, I have been thinking about Mary and Joseph and the trust they were called to have in God. When Mary said “yes” to God, I can’t imagine she realized what she was going to face from her community. As a high school teacher, I sometimes taught students who were pregnant. Some of them struggled to bring their child into the world. Some had support, while others did not. Mary’s community was going to stone her death because they assumed she had been with someone. Mary had to trust God with her reputation and her life.
Joseph had to learn to trust God in ways he never could have imagined, either. He just wanted to get married and be a carpenter for his community. It is hard to imagine what he must have felt when he discovered that Mary was expecting. Joseph had to trust a dream and Mary’s story of how she became pregnant. Joseph’s reputation was certainly impacted as the local gossips would have run him down. How do you trust God in that kind of situation?
Joseph must have been a man of great faith. We might even say that Joseph’s faith grew strong because of what he had to endure. Imagine what faith is required to raise the Son of God. God trusted Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph had to trust God with protecting them and providing for them. God had to show them a safe place to go in Egypt and then guide them safely back to Israel.
Joseph had to hear from God and then obey. When you think about it, we have to do the same thing. We have to trust God for our provision and our jobs. What do you do when you get laid off? How do you trust Him? How do you put food on the table and keep the power on? Our faith gets challenged. Will God really come through? Is God still in control?
What do you do when someone you love gets sick, maybe with COVID? Most people recover, but what if your loved one has to go to the hospital? Sometimes our faith and trust get tested by the fire of circumstances. It’s easy to allow fear, doubt and worry sneak in. We’ve all done it. That’s why we need each other, to challenge and encourage each other out of the darkness and back into a place of faith and trust. We need each other to overcome.
When Joseph struggled with doubt, he could lean on Mary. When Mary became afraid for Jesus’ safety, she could lean on Joseph. Today we are fortunate to have the Word of God, which is full of promises to help encourage us and give us hope. We also have each other to lean on in the dark moments. Together we can pull each other through.
I want to encourage you to hold onto faith and trust; they are your life preservers. God is for you. God is good. God has your best interest at heart. God is planning good things for your future. God will guide you and see you through whatever storm you are enduring. He sees you on the other side. Don’t go it alone. Lean on your friends, who will support and encourage you in your walk. I believe you are going to make it.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.