There is something about the raw honesty of kids and students that opens my eyes to my relationship with the Lord in ways that I often miss without their perspectives and unguarded musings. This past week we spent 5 days with our students at the beach. That means almost 30 hours in a van together, countless times relaying the rules and the safety procedures and recapping the why behind E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. By the end of the week we were all pretty well spent and every single one of us was on the edge of an emotional cliff.
On the last day we had a situation that needed to be acted on and I knew that several of our students would be upset. I also knew that I couldn’t explain the why behind it right then. As information was given on our decision, everyone fell silent and I could feel their scathing glares drilling into the back of my head.
The funny thing about never having an “off mode” with technology is that even though I decided to give myself a minute by putting in my ear buds and turning up my music to block the sound of angry silence, my escape kept getting interrupted by one text notification after another. “Momma Shafer???” “Momma Shafer??” “Momma Shafer???” They wanted answers and I couldn’t give them out in that moment. I pressed the volume button until my speakers were at capacity and I typed out the following; “You know me. You know that I love you. You know that I will bend over backwards to make you happy whenever I can. Right now, I just need you guys to trust me. We’ll talk later.” I was genuinely shocked when they came back with, “okay.” I knew they weren’t exactly resting easy because they typed out “okay” as opposed to their usual “k.” But they were choosing to take me at my word even though they didn’t understand. I could hear them whispering a discussion among themselves trying their best to figure it out to no avail but their anger had subsided and they were choosing trust over rage.
We did talk later in a more appropriate setting and I explained to them the decision. They had their “OHHHHHH” moment of understanding and everything was right in their world again. When I flipped on the light switch for them it confirmed their trust in me wasn’t for not and I was left with an extremely valuable parallel to my relationship with Christ.
There are more times than not where God puts us in situations that we absolutely don’t understand. We ask, we plead, we talk to everyone around us because in those moments the only thing that matters to us is why.
Blind faith and trust are subjects that come up a lot, but something that occurred to me is that our faith and trust in God aren’t ever blind. Sure, we can’t see God and we don’t know where he’s taking us most of the time but our sight is found in what we already know of him. He has proved himself to us over and over again. He’s not a stranger to us. He is known by us and we are known by him.
If I had been a complete stranger to these students at camp, asking them to trust me would have been useless because they would have absolutely no reason to. As it stood though, we have a lot of equity. We’ve walked a lot of miles together and they know, at the end of the day no matter what, I want the best for them. They know that I will say yes as often as possible so when I say no, there’s a good reason for it.
We know the same is true of God. We know that he loves to give us good things. He didn’t have to identify himself to us as a Father. He could have executed his authority over us as ruler and still very much been Lord. He could have ruled by taking things from us and yet he chose the heart a Father that by its very definition gives good gifts.
As a Father we know that his heartbeat is also to shape us for good things. That means that sometimes he makes decisions for us that hurt because he knows that ultimately the hurt will lead us to better things. Kingdom things. One of the hardest parts about parenting is knowing that while we’d rather give our kids only happiness and ease, at some point that will lead them to unending pain and destruction. So we teach them to do the hard things that lead to abundance and life.
There are so many characteristics that God has shown us that allow us to know he is good and loving. They allow us to trust him in blind moments with absolute visual certainty that he is good and that the why behind what he’s allowing is always love. He knows what we need before we ever even ask and sometimes we don’t know enough about what we need to ever ask, but he acts on our behalf anyway.
That’s the kind of magnificent equity in the Father/child relationship. This is the relationship that God has chosen with each one of us and though we go through blindingly complex moments, because of the equity he has shown us personally and throughout the expanse of time biblically, we do not walk blindly.
No matter what you’re facing right now his answer to you is, “You know me. You know that I love you. You know that I love to give you good gifts. Right now I need you to trust me. It will make sense eventually.” Keep your eyes on all that you know about your Father and the truth is, you’ll never walk a blind step again because your eyes have a proven visual on the heart after which you are chasing.