One tribe of Native Americans had a unique practice for training young braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, he was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then he had never been away from the security of his family and tribe. But on this night he was blindfolded and taken miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of thick woods…by himself…all night long. Every time a twig snapped, he probably visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. Every time an animal howled, he imagined a wolf leaping out of the darkness. Every time the wind blew, he wondered what more sinister sound it masked. No doubt it was a terrifying night for many.
After what seemed like an eternity, the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was the boy’s father. He had been there all night long.
Can you think of any better way for a child to learn how God allows us to face the tests of life? God is always present with us. While His presence is unseen, it is more real than life itself. We can trust in our God! Everything He does is for our good and His glory.
To me, the essence of trusting in the Lord’s will is trusting the Lord Himself. I think that this can easily be seen once you compare this to the natural realm. Do you trust implicitly, with even your life, someone that you are only slightly acquainted with? Of course not! It takes time and a growing intimacy for that kind of reliance to be possible. It is the same with the Lord. Of course we do not trust Him whom we do not know! It should come as no surprise that the world does not trust the goodness nor the righteousness of God because they do not know Him. What about us? We profess to know God, but do we? Do we really know God with that kind of intimacy?
We do not need to be coaxed into trusting someone whom we know and love, and it is the same way with God. If we struggle in this matter, the answer is that we need a deeper, closer relationship with God. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Psalm 23—that chapter we all know so well—how does it start? “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” And Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” What do these verses all say? Our contentment, our peace, our rest, all lie in the Person of our Lord. God is to be trusted because He is perfectly good. We must learn the faithfulness of our Father in day-by-day obedience in our mundane tasks, and then when the big things come our way, it will be that much easier to trust in the Lord’s will. We have already proven Him faithful. We know the One to Whom we are entrusting our lives. Because the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall lack nothing.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)