Do you remember drama lessons during secondary or high school? I recall playing the trust exercise game. Everyone had a partner and within each pair one person would fall while the other individual stood behind, with arms out stretched and prepared for the catch. For me, this exercise was scary because I had to look forward with complete faith in my partner. We might not entirely trust that partner from our drama lesson. But in most circumstances, we trust family members, close friends and significant others because we have built a relationship. Thus, the more we know a person the more likely we are to hold on to their every word in times of joy as well as pain. God, the creator of our universe, wants us to trust Him in a similar way. You might be thinking ‘there’s no way I can do that. I don’t know God’, ‘I’ve got to be in control’ or ‘God only cares about the big and not the mundane things of life.’ The same logic which we apply to trusting those who we are familiar with can be used in relation to God.
I’m leaning that trusting God starts by surrendering our lives to Him and knowing Him beyond the memes we see on Facebook, the stories we watch on the news or simply attending Sunday services because of tradition. In the book of Psalms, it says ‘those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you’ (Psalm 9:10). As we seek God in our private and public lives, we begin to know more of His character. Does this mean that trusting Him in spite of our feelings will be easy? Not always. I know that I could do better in trusting God without limits in my mind and my heart. In times when I find it difficult to get pass feelings of worry, I remember that I can trust that ultimately God has a plan and purpose beyond my understanding.
In Genesis, the story of Joseph (chapter 37- 47) is a powerful example of trusting God, especially in times of hardship. Summed up briefly, Joseph had a dream which caused jealousy to rise in the hearts of his brothers. They sold him into slavery in Egypt, and during all his troubles God watched over Joseph. During his settlement in Egypt, Joseph transitioned from slave to overseer of Potiphar’s house and from prisoner to overseer of Egypt. In each event, over thirteen years, we see Joseph choosing to obey God. Though it wasn’t easy, he didn’t succumb to the temptation of Potiphar’s wife; he was obedient to God and continued to trust Him despite losing his freedom. I don’t know what Joseph’s private prayer life might have looked like, but for him to perpetually interpret dreams and help others, he must have had faith in the character of God. Who’s to say that he might not have been afraid? Nonetheless, Joseph chooses trust over fear.
When Joseph is reunited with his brothers, who visit Egypt in search of food due the famine, we see how strongly he believes in God’s providential hand. He proclaims ‘so it was not you who sent me here, but God’ (Genesis 45:8). He chose to forgive his brothers and doesn’t focus on the dismal events that took place in the past. Joseph understood that what he endured was a form of character-building for the next stage of his life. Through his personal relationship with God, Joseph could trust that God was guiding him with the ultimate plan of making ‘all things work for the good of those who love him’ (Romans 8:36). And I just love that despite the mess of his life, Joseph was able see God in everything.
When we fall and when difficult situations unfold around us, remember that God is always one step ahead and He is moulding and shaping us for greater things. It may not seem like He is, but God promises to lead and guide us. We may not be able to see through the fog, yet all God wants is for us to let go and trust Him. And to answer the question of this article, yes: God will always catch you when you fall.
I pray that by spending time in prayer, reading the bible and asking questions about God, you will come to know the unfailing character of God and to trust Him in the good as and bad times. Amen.
By Chermaine Sowah