His feet thumped across the lawn and pounded up the steps as I instinctively glanced at the time. 5:50 am. (we’re early risers!) Why is he making such a racket? He’s sure to wake Lisa. A split second passed before Dauntless, our 12 yr. old, crashed through the front door on his race from Grandpa’s place across the driveway, but I was ready. A half-second was all the time I needed to prepare a stern lecture on respecting Mommy by being quiet early in the morning.
But Dauntless didn’t wait for me to draw a breath to begin.
“Daddy!” he gasped, a wild look in his eye, “Grandpa fell!”
He turned to race back, knowing I was hot on his heels. Yes, Dad had fallen, laying unconscious as I arrived – a heart attack – the nurse later explained.
Good Friday hadn’t started out so good. And about 24 hours ago, I stroked my mother’s hair, whispered into her ear that she was deeply loved, and kissed her cheek as she gasped for her final breaths, passing into eternity a few hours later.
And my truck slouches in the driveway with the flat tire our daughter got driving home a day and a half ago – haven’t even looked at it.
Whether its the big or small stuff, for most of us, life comes fast and hard – I like to say . . . with the speed of a fighter jet and the chaos of a riot. Can you identify with that? In the morning, we get things headed in the right direction but before noon there are five left turns in the road ahead. What’s next, Lord?
Have you ever felt like Phillip when Jesus looked over the crowd of 5,000 (not counting women and children) and asked, “Okay, Philip, where are we going to buy food to feed these people?” (MLJV).
Philip knew it was impossible.The disciples had only a little money between them. But Jesus knew it was impossible, too. So why was he asking? Was he setting up Philip for failure?
Sometimes it’s easy to forget, God knows what we know. He knows about the insurmountable mountain you’re facing right now because He gave it to you to face. But He also knows something we don’t know, and this is the part we tend to overlook completely. He doesn’t merely know what we know. He also knows what He intends to do. While we fret about next moves, God would have us remember that our steps, in the moment, were ordered by Him and He has a plan. The next verse says Jesus asked Philip about feeding all those people for a reason . . . to test him. (John 6:6)
God wants to know how we’ll respond when faced with circumstances that only He can handle. Will we trust Him with the impossible and respond in faith? Jesus had a plan for Philip and for that huge crowd, and God has a plan for you, today, right now.
Faith is merely the journey of life lived in the context of belief that God is surprised by nothing, is with us in the midst of every circumstance, and has a purpose for everything we face. Your worst circumstances are God’s invitation to trust Him.
This is what it means to have faith. He was reminding me of this, early this morning, when I read these words from the Sermon on the Mount: The Father knows what you need before you ask, Matthew 6:8. He knew what Philip needed. He knew what Job needed. And, He knows what you and I need . . . before we even ask.
So, we must ask ourselves: Do I trust God? Do I have faith, today? Do we have faith for the little and the life-changing challenges we face? Are you tempted to be overcome with anxiety and fret about the trial you face? None of it is a surprise to God who is just giving you an opportunity to put your trust in Him. He already has a plan for how it will all unfold.
He knows what we need and He has a plan.
Will you trust Him with that impossible challenge, today?
Matt is married to Lisa Jacobson; they are raising their eight children in the Pacific Northwest. Matthew is an author, speaker, blogger, and pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship. Matthew and Lisa are also the authors of the best-selling “his-and-her” marriage books, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.