As a homeschooled kid, I went on a lot of family field trips. On one of these trips, we went rock wall climbing. I could climb the wall just fine, but when it came time for me to let go of the wall and “fall” down I couldn’t do it. I didn’t trust the rope and harness to hold me.
Trusting has never come easily to me. The only reason I’m not still stuck on that rock wall is that I had to be physically carried down.
For me, living out the Christian faith often feels like climbing that rock wall. I know the “rope” will hold me, but it is hard to trust that it will. And so, time after time, I have to be spiritually picked up and carried. What I’ve discovered as a young believer is that it’s hard to trust that there is a plan for my life. I know Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that God has a plan for me, but I still want that instant gratification. I want to know now what the plan is. But that’s not how Christians are supposed to be. Christians are called to have faith. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”
When I think of faith and trust, I think about Peter when Jesus called him out to walk on the water. Peter stepped out in faith. He trusted that Jesus would hold him and not let him fall. Like Peter, I stepped out in faith. I applied to nursing school and was accepted. I was three weeks away from completing my first semester when I heard the news from my advisor confirming my fears; I wasn’t going to pass the semester. And so I became afraid. I thought this was what I was supposed to do. If this was the path God wanted me to take, why wasn’t He letting me pass? And so again, like Peter, I saw the wind and the waves, and I began to sink. Like Peter, I had to cry out, “Lord! Save me!”
It’s taken me a while to come to the realization that everything we as Christians experience serves to refine us and to make us more like Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold— though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
So, Christian, when you go through trials and you think nothing in the world could be worse, don’t stop trusting. Don’t stop trusting His plan for your life. You may not be able to see that next step on the staircase of life, but don’t let your doubts and insecurities stop you from stepping out in faith. It’s a lifelong lesson to learn, and I’m just now starting to learn it. Don't get to the point where Jesus has to tell you like He told Peter, “Oh, you of little faith! Why did you doubt?” Trust that what the Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11 is true. ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”’