Trusting in God…whether on a big or small scale, it’s a great (the best, actually!) thing to do. But when do we trust in God? Why? How? I’ll go over that by telling you a little story about something that happened to me yesterday…
I live on the bayou. Recently, we got a canoe, because it’s pretty hard to live on a river and not get out on it! The way our bayou (and any other one, I suppose) works is it’s a series of streams/rivers that wind through marshland. When you’re in the middle of it with tall grass blowing all around you and the occasional bare tree poking up, it feels like you’re in the African Sahara.
Anyway, yesterday my dad and I were out there paddling along. We’d gone quite a ways to reach a large river that’s usually noisy with boat traffic, but today we had it to ourselves (which really annoyed me, because I love riding the wakes made by motorboats!). We paddled down it for a while. It was a pretty easy ride, with the current pushing us along, but there was a problem. We’d come this way hoping we’d find a boat path that led back to the general area of our house. As we continued along, the possibility of there being such a waterway seemed less and less likely. We didn’t want to turn back, because the current was very strong and it would be hard and tiring work to fight it back home.
Eventually, it seemed we didn’t have any choice. We were on the right side of the river; our house was somewhere far to our left. We began to paddle to the left furiously, trying to turn the boat around so we could get back, but the current had other ideas. There we were, in the middle of the river, when my dad spotted a good-sized water way in front of us. It had been hard to spot because of the glare from the sun, and was still hard to make out, so we paddled over to get a better look. It looked like a wide, easy path, so we took off down it, glad that we wouldn’t have to brave the river in our canoe.
The waterway was extremely long, and it was constantly twisting and turning, making it difficult to navigate. Thankfully, we were still headed in the general direction of our house. We could even see other homes, though they didn’t register as any we’d seen before. As we continued down, the constant turning of the path made it hard to tell that the waterway was slowly but surely getting narrower. Finally, it opened back up, but it was practically a dead end. Why do I say practically? Because there were a few extremely narrow paths around us. We passed by these all the time while we paddled down larger paths, and we’d taken to calling them “alligator driveways”. It didn’t make me want to go down them anymore than I already did, but it seemed we didn’t have much choice.
We chose the one that made the most sense and squeezed down it. The grass was pressing up against the sides of the canoe and poking us, and a spider chanced to fall at my feet (I stabbed it with my paddle, but it later proved to be virtually un-killable). Up ahead was the glorious sight of open water…which proved to be a dead end.
This is where I start to get to the point. There we were, not sure if we could find a way home by punching through the grass ahead, which I didn’t want to do anyway. However, turning back at this point would mean coming home after dark (it was already about six o’clock), something else I didn’t want to do. Technically, we weren’t lost. We knew a way out, we just didn’t want to backtrack. But as far as going forward? Yes, we were pretty lost.
As we pushed through another “alligator driveway”, I began to pray. On a trip before, we’d come across a couple of alligators in a place we alter dubbed “alligator alley”. I didn’t relish the thought of coming across one now. I prayed we’d come across familiar territory. I prayed we’d make it home before dark. It wasn’t that we were in danger exactly–we had a cell phone, so it wasn’t like we were in the middle of nowhere with no way to communicate with civilization. What was a problem was the fact that we didn’t have a lantern or flashlight of any kind; just water, bug spray, hats, and our paddles (plus the canoe, but that’s kind of obvious!)
I continued to pray until we noticed open water ahead. Could it be a way home, or just another dead end clearing? The sun had nearly set in the sky, and we were desperate to not turn back. But praise God, we recognized it. It was “alligator alley”. I’d never thought I’d feel so safe in an alligator infested area, but I did! At last, we knew we would make it home before dark.
Unfortunately, in situations like the above or something completely different, we don’t always remember God. We don’t remember that we can put our complete and utter faith in Him (and also that we should!). You could be trusting in Him to help you not be nervous about a test, or trust in Him to help you win a race. Note, however, that trusting doesn’t mean, “Hey, I’m trusting in God to help me with my test! Now I don’t have to study at all!” You have to put a little effort into those kind of things. But remember, God is completely trustworthy. If you think, “I’m not really sure I can trust God,” think of these things:
1. You trust your parents to drive safely (or your friends, if they drive) and not crash!
2. We trust that our pets won’t attack us!
3. We trust that the technology around us is safe to use (though honestly, it’s not always, including microwaves! For more info, go to www.bettereating.wordpress.com).
We trust so many things, both alive and inanimate. However, machines aren’t always reliable, and people definitely aren’t always! But when you put your faith in God, He will not let you down. How much better can it get?!
So, in answer to “Why?” Because God will not let you down no matter what. “When?” Always! “How?” Simply tell Him you’re trusting Him with whatever is going on in your life.