As some of you know, I am a foster parent. I never know when the state is going to call and what child they’ll ask me to take for a time. Two months ago they asked me to provide a home for a beautiful and spunky 15-month-old baby girl and I’m so glad I did! Though baby girl moves very fast by crawling, she’s not quite walking on her own yet and the past couple of months has been filled with attempts to try to get her to walk on her own.
She’s really quite adorable when she tries to take a few faltering steps on her own. Instead of using her feet and taking steps, sometimes she’ll just launch herself right at me, head-first. Over the weekend when she did a head-first lunge, a lightbulb went off in my head. Baby girl trusts me. She’s not afraid of falling. She knows that I’m never going to let her fall and get hurt when we’re practicing walking. I wondered to myself, what would it look like if I trusted God that completely?
Trusting God has never come easy for me. The sin of pride ensnares me more than I’d like to admit. I’m one of those Type-A personalities that wants to do everything on her own and is reluctant to ask for help or depend on anyone else, especially God. I’ve also seen my fair share of life’s brokenness and disappointment which has at different seasons, made it very difficult for me to trust God.
I’m so very different than baby girl. She’s gotten to know me and knows that I love her and only want what’s best for her. I want her to do difficult things, like walking, but I’ll be right there as she learns. And I will catch her when she falls. But it’s hard for me to launch myself head-first at God in the same way and trust that he’s not going to let me fall as I do the difficult things He’s called me to do. I’ve often asked myself why trusting God is so hard for me.
I find an answer in Psalm 9:10 which says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” During those seasons where I am a “reluctant truster” and am unable to launch myself headfirst towards God as I encounter difficult things, are often also those seasons where I don’t seek hard after him and don’t commit myself to getting to know Him more through His Word and through prayer. The more I get to know our God by reading His Word and by spending time with Him in prayer the more I see His character: His faithfulness, love, mercy and grace. And the more I see His character, the easier it is trust Him.
Are you a “reluctant truster” like me? I understand this more than I’d care to admit. Yet I’d invite you to join me on the journey, especially as we enter the Advent season this weekend. Take a few faltering baby steps towards God. Even more, launch yourself head-first at seeking Him and coming to know Him more. Where you are unable, He is able. He will never leave you alone and he’s always there to catch you when you fall.
Karen Jacobsen is the Director of Children’s Ministry and Director of Refuge 686, a ministry serving foster and adoptive care families.