Monday, August 15, 2011

Child-like Trust

My youngest daughter, Juliette, is not quite a year old yet. A few days ago, I grabbed her and threw her up in the air. As she bounced back into my arms, she giggled uncontrollably. She didn't flinch. She didn't show the slightest sign of fear. I couldn't help but notice that I had her complete trust. She had no doubt that I would catch her. My Lord used that instance to show me the meaning of complete and utter trust--the kind He wants me to have for Him.

Now that I look back, there have been many instances my kids have displayed complete trust for me. I take it for granted and perhaps I expect their trust. Since we work to provide a safe and loving home, they have no reason to distrust me. Granted they've had their fair share of pain from mishaps, mistakes and growth, they've "had it" quite well. And they've proven time and time again that they look to me as a type of safe haven.

Isaiah, my only son, asks me each night at bedtime whether he can sleep safe--safe from monsters and whatever else enters his vivid imagination. And each night, he is satisfied simply with my words, "No nothing will get you. Those things are made-up for movies and books. They're not real." He doesn't argue. He is simply satisfied with the reassurance I offer him. Why? Because he trusts me.

When my oldest daughter, Kearney, was little she would cling to me wherever we went. If she felt unsafe, her cling turned into more of a slow strangulation. It used to frustrate me but looking back I see that she clung to the person with whom she felt safest. She trusted me, and she still does although she's grown to think that I know less and less (oh the joy of teen years). As she gets older, she becomes more like me in that she has to see and understand for herself. Kearney wouldn't let me teach her how to swim. The more I persuaded her, the more she insisted in her own way. She eventually had to observe others and try it on her own. She and I aren't a whole lot alike but in that way, we think alike. I've always been guarded. I've always had this need to do my own thinking to the extent that I have to see for myself more times than I care to admit. I've always had trouble giving up control. Trust doesn't come naturally for me and it gets harder with age.

Isn't it just like us to become more distrusting as we grow older? Age doesn't always make us better. In many cases, it makes us more bitter, resentful and cautious. As we "grow" (by the world's standards), experiences take away that innocent trust of a child. Once the damage is done and we realize how important those child-like ways are in our spiritual lives, we spend the rest of our lives trying to revert.

I realize that trust is something we work towards. It doesn't come overnight. It's practiced over and over and over. As I believe, I am to apply that belief in sticky situations--instead of flinching. As with anything else-- the more we apply God's truths, the more natural they become to us. I want to have the trust for God that my kids have for me. Instead of flinching when trials come, I want to be so grounded in Him that my peace is never shaken. I want to hear His word, His reassurance and never doubt. And I pray you do too. We have no reason not to trust him completely. He loves us abundantly.

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