I was reminded of this once again this past weekend as I flew to Oklahoma for a few days. I’m not sure if it’s the feeling I get when the plane is in the air or if it’s just the thought that I am rocketing through the clouds in a metal box with wings. Either way, I really don’t like it. My thought is, if I were meant to fly I would have been born a bird.
During my usual pre-take-off prayer I prayed the same thing I do before every flight: “God, I pray that you will protect this flight. I pray that you will help us land safely at our destination. I pray that you will allow the flight to be smooth and safe.” I’m sure there was more (I tend to pray most the time I’m in the air…I’m telling you, I really don’t like flying), but you get the point. After the prayer, I tried to calm down by reminding myself to trust in God. I had prayed for a smooth and safe flight and I needed to trust that God would provide those things. There was a problem though. Each and every time the plane would shake a little bit, I would become afraid again. I had prayed for a smooth flight and yet the plane was shaking. “If I can’t trust God to keep the flight smooth, maybe it’s not going to be a safe flight either,” I would think to myself. With that, my trust went out the window and I spent the rest of the flight uneasy and nervous. Needless to say, I was so thankful when the plane finally landed in Oklahoma City.
Between the flight down and the flight back to Denver I was able to do some reflecting on the flight. It was during that reflecting that I realized something. I hadn’t been defining “trust” in the right way. You see, I saw trust as believing that God was going to do what I had asked Him to do. I had prayed for a smooth and safe flight. Therefore, in my mind, trusting in God was believing that He would give me those very things. That may sound all well and good but that’s simply not how the Bible defines trust.
Trust is not believing that God will do what we’ve asked Him to do. Trust is believing that God will do what He has promised to do. Those are two very different things. Trust involves recognizing that God’s plan is far greater than anything we can come up with. Just look at Christ when He prayed in the garden before His trial and crucifixion. In Matthew 26:39 Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” However, He continues His prayer with, “yet not as I will, but as You will.” Christ’s trust in God did not rely on whether or not God would allow that “cup” to pass. The trust in God that Jesus showed was far greater than that. Jesus knew that God’s plan and will were far superior to the will of man. Trusting in God is recognizing that He knows best, regardless of what we may want.
With that trust, we can have the same confidence we read about in places like Matthew 10:28 and Romans 8:31. With God on our side, we have nothing to fear in this life. Now, that involves obedience on our part. If we aren’t living the life that God calls us to lead we certainly should fear losing our lives. However, if we are living faithful lives and trust that God is in control (regardless of the outcome), then we can be at peace.
My flight back to Denver was much easier (though I can’t lie, I still did a lot of praying). Once I realized that God was in control and that I could trust in His will rather than my own, it was easier to be at peace about things. I knew that whether the flight was bumpy or smooth, God was still in control and that regardless of what happened, I was right with God and had nothing to fear.
If you are having a hard time putting your trust in God, maybe it’s because your definition of trust looked like mine. Perhaps you are confused why God hasn’t been answering your prayers in the way that you want. Remember that trust in God is not dependant on whether God does what we want. Trust is recognizing that God is in control and that if we are right in His eyes, we have nothing to fear.