A trust fall is an exercise where one person falls and the group they are with catches them and prevents injury. It’s often used as a team-building exercise. But have you ever heard of a trust jump?
Before we get to our lesson on trust today, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — I “trust” that you’ll really get a lot out of our time together.
When folks have decided to believe in God, do the about-face of faith and begin following Jesus – one of the toughest lessons to learn can be that of trusting Him to direct and protect. The new heart that He’s placed within us is capable of learning to trust Him, but that process often feels like a trust fall – except that you cannot see the person who is supposed to catch you! Not to mention that the way we learn to trust is by facing difficult and challenging situations that are beyond our control, and letting God Himself show us the way through the trials.
It gets really complicated when the issues we’re facing are painful and difficult. All too often, we think the solution in our mind is better than the one God is working out. The problem is that we never see the whole picture (like God does), we never have the full understanding that He has, and so we can’t possibly make the best choices. That’s where we learn to trust. The crisis of “Good Friday” and the crucifixion made no sense to the followers of Jesus … until AFTER the resurrection. But God was in total control all the way through the process. He reigns! He reigns when the soldier is swinging the whip. He reigns when the nails are being driven in. He reigns when the breath of life is gone and all seems lost. Whether your life seems to be IN CONTROL or OUT OF CONTROL – it is always UNDER CONTROL — HIS CONTROL !! Because He reigns.
Today’s verse says GOD IS MY SALVATION; I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID.
Our absolute trust in the fact that He reigns is what gives us PEACE in the middle of the process. Our trust allows us to draw closer to Him when the waves get high and the boat seems to be sinking. The crisis is not the conclusion, and God will prove trustworthy every time.
We need to adopt the same attitude as that of a certain little girl who was crossing a bridge with her father. The father told his little daughter, “Sweetheart, hold my hand so that you don’t fall into the river.”
The little girl said, “No, Daddy, you hold my hand.”
“What’s the difference,” asked the puzzled father.
“There’s a big difference,” replied the little girl. “If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But, if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go.”
GOD IS MY SALVATION; I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID
Another aspect of learning to trust is being willing to step out beyond your comfort zone. Faith will take you to places you’ve never been, and stretch you beyond what you think you are capable of.
I remember a “stretching moment” during a karate class I was teaching to a group of younger students ranging in age from age ten and eleven to some in their late teens. The lesson ostensibly had to do with learning forward rolls, but it was actually a lesson in realizing that our capacity is beyond our comfort. I began by telling the students that rolls can absorb impact and allow them to regain control. Then, I had the students crouch down as close as possible to the floor, and then roll forward in the manner they’d been instructed. Naturally, no one found this a challenge. It was far too easy. But we progressed from the crouch to a full standing position. Then from standing to a jump and roll. Then to standing on a small stool, jumping and rolling out.
“Feel the balls of your feet first come into contact with the floor,” I kept saying, “and immediately execute the roll.” We did that over and over again. The smaller stool was replaced with a chair, and the lesson repeated. Then I blindfolded them and had them jump from the chair. AS they kept jumping and rolling, I kept repeating the key to the lesson, “Feel the balls of your feet.” Eventually the chair was replaced by an 8 foot ladder and then a ten foot platform. In the end students were jumping from double their own height blindfolded. The results of the lesson were exhilarating. Even today, two decades later, former students will ask “Do you remember the night we jumped blindfolded?” They learned to trust their teacher, and learned their teacher had a better understanding of their abilities than they did. But more importantly, they learned that they had more capability than they ever conceived.
The lesson of trust is a critical one. Christ calls us to follow Him. And sooner or later that’s going to require a trust jump.
Let Him hold your hand, and you’ll be able to say GOD IS MY SALVATION; I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID