Not All Ground is Safe to Walk On: Learning to Trust the Right Things

Even before COVID-19 struck, a lot of things in my life had gotten shaky. The entrepreneurial venture my husband embarked on ended with disappointment, injustice, and a net loss of money. Our small church shrunk even more. And conflicts out of my control attacked my peace during nights of little sleep.

And now, all the things that we have trusted in to help us feel secure – health, security, the economy, governments – have left the whole world feeling worried, scared, and insecure. It reminds me of an adventure my family was on when my children were younger.

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 mud plain, my 3 year old suddenly yelled for help. She was sinking, and the more she struggled, the more stuck she got. Replays of movies with quicksand in them 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 too. 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!

During this crisis I am especially thankfulfor my home, for my kids, for loving family, for plenty of food, and for Internet access. But I am also reminded that I cannot trust in any of these things for my peace or my security. Because when they fail… whether it’s a misunderstanding between friends, a lack of income in our home, or a worldwide pandemic… 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, because this world is not my home.

Remember the old hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock”? It is so appropriate now. “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 song’s meaning will still hold true.

I dare not trust – my health – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

I dare not trust – my income – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

I dare not trust – the economy – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

I dare not trust – the past or the future – but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

When I trust in health or security or money or America or the pastor, it means that I am fine for as long as the health/security/money/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, who works all things together for good in the end, and who is preparing a new home for us. When churches and people and jobs and companies and governments 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 put all your trust in your plans for the future. They may end up being much twistier and turnier than you expected. Don’t put all your trust in humans. They fail. But DO put all of your trust in Jesus. Your peace is safe in Him.

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

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