Have you ever thought about this, trust is not something you can be taught, it’s something you have to experience.
It wasn’t until I became a parent that I truly started to understand the relationship God wanted to have with me. In my early years of following Jesus, the Bible was a history book to me. It was a great collection of stories about past events that explained our existence and how the world came to be. It also prophesied how it would cease to exist.
Furthermore, it was filled with many dos and don’ts, and the idea that God loves us was sprinkled in there as well. I was comfortable with the fact that God was the Creator, the Savior and the King of Kings. What I did not fully understand is that God is my Father.
Then It Happened
One summer day when my kids were young, we were doing our boring morning routine and getting ready to eat lunch. The kids were restless because the weather was beautiful, and they wanted to enjoy it. I had planned to pack them up and take them to the beach for a fun day of sand and swimming. I did not tell them the plan because, in the past, when I would tell them about our fun plans too early, the hours leading up to leaving were rough.
They would get so excited that they would become time-blind and ask every few minutes when we were leaving. They would focus on all the excitement to come and have no focused attention for the tasks at hand, like getting dressed, eating lunch, brushing their teeth, etc. Out of sheer survival and being outnumbered, I learned to withhold exciting news until closer to our departure time. I knew we had a fun day planned, but my kids did not.
They all turned on me quickly. They began grumbling and complaining that “we never do anything fun” and our house is “boring.” I will be honest; it was difficult to keep my composure during these unfair and untrue accusations. I said to the grumpy mob of kids, “Would you just trust me? You don’t know it, but I have a good plan for you today! First, I need you to eat your lunch.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I felt it. I just spoke scripture to my children.
“For I know the plan I have for you declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” – Jeremiah 29:11
Life Lesson Learned
My mind left the room for a few minutes as I took in the words I spoke. This is exactly how God, MY father, feels about me. How often do I grumble, complain, and fail to receive His goodness because I do not know the good plan He has for me? It also occurred to me that I don’t tell my children what is coming because, at their ages, they do not have the capacity to handle knowing things that are too far into the future.
In order to both protect them and get the best out of them in the moment, I would give them information on a need-to-know basis. As their mom, I knew that I was bearing the weight and responsibility of what the future held. The planning and readiness were on my shoulders, not theirs. What I needed from them was obedience. I needed them to do what I asked of them and trust that I had a good plan and was capable of carrying it out.
What a moment of total clarity! That day, I saw God as my Father. I am His child. I need to trust Him and be obedient. As I parented my own children, I could fully relate to who He is.