Faith is believing without seeing. Think of the challenge this poses for the Lord! He wants to provide His children the blessings of faith; but how does He gift His people with a virtue that must be acquired through the promise of rewards that can’t yet be seen?
I remember a scene in the Disney version of the Aladdin story. Aladdin extends his hand to Jasmine and says, “Do you trust me?” They are perched on the edge of a roof and he is asking her to jump. He knows, but she does not, that the awnings to the shops below will break their fall. There isn’t time to explain. Jasmine, of course, agrees. They jump, and all turns out well.
When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago, I had no reason to believe all would turn out well. The option of cutting my work schedule to half time in order to care for Mom was presented to me and I was terrified. Money was tight already. How would we survive if my salary was cut in half? But I heard the Lord saying, “Do you trust Me?”
After I’d accepted a half time position and not before, we found that my mother could legally (and ethically) pay me to care for her. With an attorney who was an elder law expert, we set up what is called an “in-advance contract.” Duties I would perform for Mom were specifically outlined, and for these she agreed to pay me a small monthly salary. While the amount Mom pays me is substantially less than the halftime salary I gave up, we never noticed the difference. And there were so many blessings besides, not the least of which was my decreased stress level.
A few years later came the biggest leap of faith I’ve made thus far. Budget cuts took my half time job. I was reassigned to new, less satisfying teaching duties. My husband needed my help on the farm, Mom was in need of increasing levels of care, and I heard the Lord whisper, “Now is the time. Early retirement!”
Do you trust Me?
The Lord’s nudge was unmistakable, and with fear and trembling I turned in my resignation. I was terrified we wouldn’t be able to find or afford health insurance coverage. After I resigned I learned I would be able to continue coverage through the school’s policy because of my years of service, but the premiums would be a staggeringly huge amount. I had no idea how we would pay them.
Do. You. Trust. ME?
Trembling, shaking, staggering forward I replied, “Yes, Lord, I trust You…”
I didn’t know that my retirement check plus a health care tax savings would come to almost exactly the amount of our monthly insurance premium. At this point, despite our farm income having been decreased by two drought years in a row, we have not been under financial strain as a result of my early retirement.
Lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to worry. Mom’s condition is deteriorating and I am afraid of the grief of finally losing her. Her absence will leave a multi-faceted void in my life; the final loss of my mother, my patient, and my last remaining tie to childhood. How will I cope with yet another role change? I was a teacher, now I am a caregiver; what comes next for me? Even more frightening, how will I survive the circumstances of my mother’s departure? Alzheimer’s is not known for taking its victims peacefully.
Do you trust Me?
I do trust the Lord. He has taught me to trust Him through a series of life experiences that have allowed me the opportunity to take numerous leaps of faith.
I am so grateful that I was able to scrape together courage to take His hand when He invited me to trust Him. The lesson to be absorbed is that He does not often reveal the provision He will make until after the step requiring trust is taken. This is how He grants us the opportunity to take possession of the eternal virtue of faith. “…trust were not trust if thou could see the ending of the way…” *
Yes, I trust Him. I may be shaking a bit but I will step forward with confidence. He has never dropped me. Not once.
Illustration of Aladdin and Jasmine was found here.
*Quote from the poem by Freda Hanbury Allen found here: Click on "My Plans for Thee"