I’ve had the good fortune of having memorable childhood vacations. Whether it was Clear Lake, Lake Berryessa, El Salvador, or Baja California, my family would generally go somewhere near water. Playing in rivers, lakes, and oceans was the norm.
One particular summer stands out. We went to San Felipe, a small town near the Gulf of Mexico. This particular trip was unique for a couple of reasons. The tide had lowered enough to create a seemingly mile-long stretch of knee high water, enabling us to walk deep into the gulf. The other reason was stingrays. I'd never seen them before. I didn't even know they were called stingrays. All I knew was that my dad was comfortable with them, so I felt comfortable with them.
This comfort was tested one evening when I was told that San Felipe had giant stingrays known forhooking their tails into peoples’ ankles and dragging them out to sea. This news came from a family friend and his serious delivery convinced me it was true. I remember thinking "I could be next!" A chill rippled along my eight-year-old back. My father sensed my fear, immediately put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “Son, he’s joking with you. As long as I’m in the water with you, you’re safe.” I hadn’t met this other person before, but I knew my dad. My trust in my father restored my peace.
And trust is what I’d like to discuss in this blog.
Trust is largely missing today. Trust in ourselves, trust in others, trust in general. It has been replaced by suspicion and skepticism. Perhaps some of it is warranted, but I’d say it’s mostly a defense mechanism to guard us against pain. The problem is, it only isolates us from being able to connect with God and others.
I’d say the main impact scripture has on my life is how it builds my sense of trust. When I first started following Jesus, I largely did not trust myself. I had proven unreliable. I’d say I’d do one thing and do something else. I’d commit to showing up somewhere, only to flake out last-minute. Though I had good intentions of following through, it was too easy to back out and quit.
However, as I read scripture and thought on its words, something else began rising within me. A small voice that could topple poor habits began to whisper deep within. I began to experience the impact of a daily diet of Scripture. Psalm 1 says, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:2-3 ESV. It describes a life that is stable, solid, predictable in its output, and prosperous. What it’s saying is that a life that is nourished by Scripture is trustworthy. It produces good things. You can count on it.
Scripture hasn’t just transformed me into a reliable person, it has connected me to the One who is more reliable than anything in this life. They remind me of His character. They speak of His grace and forgiveness. They speak to me of His faithfulness, always watching over me. Scripture has connected me to the One who personifies trust. In many ways, I’d say my trustworthiness is in direct correlation to remaining connected to God. He’s more stable than the earth beneath my feet, for I have discovered the truth of this word: And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:10 ESV
I wonder, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your trust in God and yourself?
No matter the number, consuming Scripture will only strengthen it. Then you too will find yourself proclaiming that, He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalms 40:2 ESV