I would imagine at this point in your life you’ve experienced some version of a “trust fall” activity. If you’ve been a part of a team, group, or club, some leader of that group was probably trying to build a sense of teamwork and camaraderie on the team, and a series of group exercises like this was a sure thing. I remember being a sophomore during an afternoon of a whole series of these challenges, and one of them was “the wall.” It was a totally flat wall (no hand-holds or anything) about 12-feet high in the middle of the forest, and the idea was to work together to get the whole group up and over that wall. Someone looked at the 6-foot-tall gangly specimen I was at the time, and decided I should go first. The group hoisted me up, I grabbed the top of the wall, then they all let go and the self-appointed leader of our group yelled, “okay, now pull yourself over.” I had arms like spaghetti noodles and the upper-body strength of a toddler…there was no way I was pulling myself over.
I tried a few embarrassing attempts at a pull-up, and it was just not happening. Ashamed, I yelled down, “I can’t do it…I’m gonna have to drop.” The leader laughed in disbelief, and then said, “okay, let go…WE’VE GOT YOU.” With that reassurance, I let go of the top of the wall, and watched as the entire group below opened up to create an empty space at the base of this wall where I could collapse in a pathetic heap on the ground. I don’t know what your definition of “we’ve got you” is, but mine was very different than moving out of the way to watch a teammate fall. Let’s just say my trust in this group did not increase that fine afternoon.
Here’s why I tell you that: somewhere along the way, we all learn that people will let us down. It may be something fairly ridiculous like a failed trust fall exercise, or it could be something devastating like the abandonment of a family member. Whatever the case, we learn the lesson that we can’t fully rely on anybody, so we’re going to have to rely on ourselves. And once this mindset takes root, it can be incredibly hard to ever fully trust or rely on someone else again…even God. We can know in our heads that God is good, God is faithful, He will never leave us or forsake us, but that little voice in our heads still questions it sometimes…it still drives us to try and take control of our lives.
Over the next few days, we’re going to try and unteach our brains this lesson. Yes, people will sometimes let you down, but God is not like people. God. Never. Fails. My prayer for you is that you’ll be able to see the ways you’re still trying to wrestle control of your life from God, and that you’ll find the strength to fully surrender everything to Him.