by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Earlier, I told the story of my encounter with Bethany, a home-schooled teenager who had just returned from a semester in South America living with a young missionary family. Her thoughtful reply to my question about what she had learned through this experience was the assertion that she had learned to ‘trust God.’
Sadly, I lost track of Bethany and missed the opportunity to know her well – to learn from her life experiences a little of what it meant for her to ‘trust God.’ I can say, however, that this is also my testimony. Over more than eight decades of journeying with Jesus, I’m still learning to trust God. Trust him more deeply than ever as the years roll by.
I’m sobered, though, to realize that when I had the opportunity to pass this wisdom on to my own growing children – in their formative years – I may have missed the mark. My role in my family has changed, now. Though I can’t change the past, I can speak out to young parents who still govern families with children living and learning in the homes they are providing.
I won’t share, here, a lot of strategies on how to create and maintain a godly home. Resources abound for this and they are readily available. I’ll simply say that God makes the basic blueprint ever so clear. It is not difficult to determine what his design for the godly family is, for it is clearly spelled out in his Word.
So I would urge you to set aside some of the ‘good things’ in your life, if you need to, and take the time necessary to discover (or review) some passages, starting with the Old Testament. Gather those in your family who are old enough to understand and take them with you through the early chapters of Deuteronomy, using a reader-friendly version. See yourselves as Moses saw his beloved people and take his advice to heart.
Spend time in Psalm 23 with your family and see what provisions the Good Shepherd of your ‘sheep’ has to offer you and then dwell long enough in Proverbs, chapter three, to bind this advice securely on your hearts. There’s a common thread of truth here: God is a loving, covenant-keeping, Heavenly Parent. He is worthy of our complete trust, no matter what happens to us in our journey through this life.
I am well aware that family life today is far more complicated and demanding than it was in my young days. Some of us may long for more Waltons’ simplicity. (Google that if you’re too young to understand what it means!) I would recommend some ‘program deactivation’ if that is true. For often the ‘good’ is the enemy of the ‘best,’ and making the right choice is usually very hard to do.
But, cheer up! The bottom line is this: God’s ways are neither complicated, nor burdensome. As Moses commanded his children, just weave a proper awe of God and obedience to his requirements into the ‘ordinaries’ of your life.
Recently, I was a dinner guest in a young family’s home and the conversation quite naturally came around to who Jesus was – who he is. One of the parents pointed out that no one argues that Jesus did not live and die in real life, in real time. This is an established fact of history – both secular and religious. And we are certain that he came back to life and lives today. Two young girls at that table may not remember this exact incident, but that truth from a trusted parent was planted (or watered, if this was not the first time they heard it from this source) to grow the ‘trust factor’ in their impressionable lives.
No seminary degree required. No weekend conference to attend. No book to buy. A parent’s life experience based on learning from God’s Word was all God needed.
How about you? Are you, like me, still learning to trust God? Could part of that learning process be availing yourself of the opportunities God gives you to nourish this growth in another? May this be so.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding, but seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Amen.