For the past two years we have witnessed some dramatically changes in our world– we’ve seen the impact of COVID-19 and all of its’ variants; we’ve had to decide whether to become vaccinated or not; our kind smiles have been hidden behind masks; and many of us have missed out on family gatherings due to our fear of getting ill or getting someone else ill. It’s enough to make you lose faith and hope. So how can we ensure 2022 will be different than 2020 or 2021? It all boils down to trust.
There was a story I heard from a pastor a while back before he commenced a sermon on Trust. He told a joke about a man who fell over the side of a cliff but was able to stop his fall by grabbing hold to a small limb extending from the cliff. As he swayed back and forth over the hollow space, he looked up to the heavens and cried out, “Is there anyone up there who can help me?” Three times he called out, but there was no answer. Suddenly the heavens parted, and the voice of God responded, “I will help you, but you must trust me. I want you to let go of the branch.” The man looked down towards the valley hundreds of feet below him and considered his options. He then looked back to heaven and yelled, “Is there anyone else up there who can help me?”
In a world riddled with so many struggles, sometimes it’s hard to trust in God’s plan. It’s times like these that our faith is tested especially when it seems like each year is starting to resemble the last. It's easy to become discouraged and disappointed. These struggles are not meant to destroy us, but to bring us closer to him. In tough times we realize that we cannot do it alone, and there will be times when our super-humans (mom, dad, friends, other relatives) cannot save us and we feel as if we can no longer save ourselves. God will be the only one we can rely on for strength. So, what does it mean to trust?
Trust, according to Google, is: a Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
As we prepare for another year, God is asking us to let go of the branch and trust in him. This means letting go of what we know and trusting that God will be there to guide us through any struggle. Trusting in God can be easy when things are going well, but what about those times when our lives seem to be turned upside down? It’s even more difficult when we don’t understand why these things are happening. When this happens, we must remember to,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
When we think back to the most challenging times in our lives, God slowly reveals his plan, and we learn how these situations has helped us grow into the people that we are today. We may not know “why” things are happening, but our trust in God gives us the strength to smile through it all because we know he is working it out in the background.
This year surrender, and detach yourself from harmful thoughts, free yourself from the burdens and struggles of the world and allow yourself to fall into the peaceful place where he desires us to be. Which branch will you need to let go of?
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year,