Lately a lot of things I trusted in have gotten shaky. The entrepreneurial venture my husband embarked on ended after 2 1/2 years with disappointment, injustice, and a net loss of money. The small church I have poured myself into over the past seven years has shrunk even more over the last few months. And conflicts out of my control have attacked my peace during nights of little sleep.
Things that I have trusted in to help me feel secure – jobs, church, friendship – have left me feeling worried, scared, and insecure. It reminds me of an adventure my husband and oldest daughters and I went on about five years ago.
Construction was being done on a man-made lake near my brother’s house, and all of the water had been recently drained out – leaving an enormous empty “field” of dirt and mud. Curiosity drew us closer and closer to this rare sighting, and before we knew it we were all stepping out into the mud. Near the edge, it was firm enough to walk on. But as we walked farther and farther into the plain, my 3 year old suddenly yelled for help. She was sinking in the mud, and the more she struggled, the more stuck she got. All of the replays of movies with quicksand in them (Princess Bride, anyone?) flashed in my head as I slowly headed towards her – testing each new spot before I shifted my weight onto that foot. I couldn’t reach her without sinking a little in the deep mud, but fortunately I was able to pull her out quickly enough that I didn’t get stuck in it. We lost a shoe that day and got disgustingly muddy, but we will never forget this important lesson: not all ground is safe to walk on!
I am thankful for my home, for healthy kids, for loving family, for plenty of food, for freedom of speech, for friends, for a church family, for the luxury of going on entrepreneurial adventures. But I cannot trust in any of these things for my peace or my security. Because when they fail… when there is a misunderstanding between friends, or a lack of income in our home, or a declining church membership, or a failed endeavor… then my peace and security are on awfully wet and muddy ground.
I can be (and am… and should be…) thankful for God’s gifts to me. But these gifts are not my hope.
Remember the song, “On Christ the Solid Rock”? So appropriate here. “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”
We don’t use the term “sweetest frame” too often anymore, but I’m pretty sure we can substitute a whole host of other things there, and the integrity of the song’s meaning will still hold.
I dare not trust – a free country – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – my income – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – a home security system – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – the children’s pastor – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – my health – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – my neighborhood – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
I dare not trust – the most well-loved Christian speakers – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
When I trust in money or security or health or America or the pastor, it means that I am fine for as long as the money/security/health/America/pastor are fine. But as soon as they start sinking, I sink too… and it’s a muddy, mucky mess. It’s not easy to get back to solid ground, especially without help.
But Christ is solid. He never fails, He never sinks. When everything around me is storming and sinking, my peace rests in the name of Jesus – the One who is over all, who holds everything in His hands, who sees beginning and end, and works all things together for good in the end. When churches and people and jobs and plans fail – He is still in control, and we are still okay.
I wish it didn’t take sinking in the mud a bit to learn this lesson, and I have a feeling it’s a lesson we humans have a habit of forgetting. But from one muddy kid to another, let me just remind you: not all ground is safe to walk on! Don’t trust the money. It’s not trustworthy. Don’t trust the humans. They do occasionally fail. Don’t trust your plans. They may end up being twistier and turnier than you expected. But DO trust in Jesus. Your peace will be safe in Him.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”