PHOTO CAPTION: This little one can smile because she trusts her aunty won’t drop her. She knows she is loved.
Everyone trusts in something or someone. We don’t even think about it, we simply trust. We trust that when we lower ourselves to sit in a chair, it will keep us up. We trust that our doctor hopefully knows what he is talking about when we go to see him because we are sick. We trust that our car will hopefully start every morning when we get ready to leave for work. We trust that our husband will hopefully remember to pick up that milk that we asked him to get at the store on his way home. We trust that the bus will bring our kids home from school safely. We may even trust that a certain diet or self-help idea will be just the right one for us. We trust enough to at least give it a try, but what happens when something or someone breaks that trust? We become a little bit more skeptical, a little less willing to trust the next time, a little more cautious. Breaches of trust can wear down our faith and cause us to begin to doubt. We may find ourselves approaching life with fear instead of bravery when our trust has been eroded. Then fear and doubt often give way to anger and selfishness. The look out for number one attitude because after all, no one else will – or so we think when our trust has been eroded. That lack of trust can filter over into our relationship with God as well. Who can we trust and how can we learn to trust again when doubts arise? It takes time to rebuild trust, for sure.
Trust is built when someone or something is dependable, reliable, does what they say they will do. Trust is built on love. In the picture above, the little one knows she is loved. She is not afraid because she knows her family has her best interests at heart. They love her and care for her. Of course there are times when she may not like what her parents or grandparents say. She may not agree with their decision that it’s bedtime or time to take medicine or whatever it is they may be asking her to do, still she trusts her family and she knows she is deeply loved. This is such a beautiful picture of how God loves us. He loves us unconditionally even when we may complain or throw a fit at resting because we are sick or because God says, “No!” to something. Still He loves us even when we might be asking, “God, you know I had a lot to do this week. Why am I down with the flu? Why did my car have to have a flat today of all days?” Not that God caused those things. Life happens. Germs are out there and tires pick up nails or wear out. Yet even with the frustration we may feel, we know God is dependable. He keeps His promises and He loves us immensely. When we remember that, then trusting Him comes a lot easier. Trusting others may not come so easy and yes, there are some people we should probably be leery of such as scammers.
Are you still feeling a little skeptical? You’ve been let down so many times, can you really dare to trust God? Yes! How do I know? Because He has been there for me time and time again. I have never regretted my decision to follow Him. Yes, I have had times when my faith and trust were a little low. I’ve even dared ask God why on various occasions, but God has never once wavered in His love for me. He has encouraged me to step out in faith, like Abraham, and go where He leads me to go. I may not be sure of the destination or how I’m going to get there, but I am sure that He is with me. I can trust because I am His beloved daughter and He never leaves me to flounder alone.
I do trust you. I know you are a good, good Father. There are times, though when I am unsure of what to do or what is going to happen. Situations where I think that I must somehow figure life out on my own or when I doubt that I can figure life out on my own. I have questions. I don’t understand why life happens the way it does. Why does a child die? Why is our world so crazy? What can I possibly do to help when I am just one person? Do I still have purpose now that I am nearing retirement years? How do I help my kids understand trust? These and other questions arise, still I know that you are God and that gives me great hope and courage. I will never understand everything that happens on this life, but like that child who trusts that they are deeply loved, I can and I will trust you. Like Abraham, I want to step out in faith and trust, moving to those places you are leading me whether it be across the street or around the world. Teach me Lord, to trust you more; to trust you with all my heart and soul. Show me how to encourage my family to trust you more too. Amen
BUILDING FAITH & TRUST
- A baby learns trust, when their basic needs are met and they are lovingly cared for, then later they can transfer that trust to faith in God. Learning to trust is one of the first building blocks of faith. It’s easier to say, “Yes!” to God when they know they have been loved and cared for.
- Trust in God is based on what He says in His Word, the Bible. He is loving, kind and good. He is patient, slow to get angry. He is our provider, our strong tower and He is always with us. Trust is not based on getting everything we might want. God is a good Father. He gives us what we need and walks with us through hard times.
- Trust and faith go hand in hand. Sometimes we have to step out in faith even when we are unsure of the outcome, but when we trust God, we know that step of faith is okay to take. We know, like the child who is learning to walk, if we start to fall, our Father God is there to catch us and help us back up.
- We can trust God because He is trustworthy, faithful and true.
- HELPING KIDS TRUST GOD
- As you are teaching your kids, ask God for help. God is triune, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He gave us His Spirit to be with us always and His Spirit guides and gives wisdom. I know He helped me when I was praying for my kids. He helped me know what to do, what to say and how to respond.
- Be intentional. Talk about God. Make God a part of your conversation each day – when you get up, go to bed, drive, bath time, at meals, any time. Duet.6:7 “Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk (or drive) along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” This is easier if you have cultivated that God awareness in your personal life too.
- EX. When your Toddler wakes us give him a hug and say, “I love you and God loves you too.” When you see a beautiful, sunny day on your drive to school and work say, “Thank you God for this beautiful day. I love the fluffly clouds.”
- Pray together – when you tuck them in at night, at meal times – yes, even if it’s a rote prayer, it’s okay. You have to start somewhere and the idea is simply to be thankful. Gratitude has benefits of its own, even if you don’t feel super connected with God when you say a repeated prayer such as, “God is great, God is good. Now we thank Him for our food.” or whatever it is you say.
- Listen – Listening is a important skill to develop, but listening to God is super important. How do we listen to God? Through reading the Bible, prayer and at church. After reading, I like to ask myself, “What are you saying to me God.
STORY: Genesis 12:1-8 Abraham Trusts God
One day God said to Abraham,
“I want you to move to a brand new land.
I will show you the way to go, – (Point outwards and say, “Go!”)
And bless you because I love you so.” – (Give self a hug.)
So Abraham did what God asked him to do. – (That means he obeyed.)
He took His wife Sarah and his nephew Lot too.
They packed up their things, got ready to go, – (Pretend to pack)
But where were they going? They didn’t know. – (Throw hands out to the sides.)
Abraham trusted God to show him the way, – (Walk in place)
And God did show him every single day. – (Keep walking.)
God led him safely to the new land.
Abraham trusted and followed God’s plan.
Just like Abraham, you can trust God too.
To show you the way and what to do.
God loves you. He’s with you everyday, – (Give self a hug)
And He’s always ready to help when you pray. – (Fold hands to pray)
Thank you that you love me and are with me everyday. I know that you will help me listen and obey. Thank you for the Bible and for my mom and dad. I know I can count on you to show me the way just like you showed Abraham. I trust you. Amen
MEMORIZE: Proverbs 3:5 – (Hands like holding a book.)
Trust – (Make a fist & pull in.)
In the Lord – (Point upwards.)
With all – (Extend arms outward.)
Your heart – (Hands on heart.)
KNOW: Abraham trusted and believed God, I can trust.
TALK ABOUT: Listening & Trusting – What does it mean to trust?
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
AND DO… I can trust, listen & obey God.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
- Talk about when your child was born and how special he/she is. He is God’s handiwork.
- Play a game by saying, “I’m going on a trip and I’m going to take a __.” God told Abraham to go on a long trip. What do you think he packed? This game can be played in the car.
- Tell your child your own “God story.” When did you first place your trust in God? Trust – To know/believe that God does what He says. Depending on God & doing what He says because you know He will take care of you.