There is a great spot in Kananaskis Country called Canoe Meadows where you can walk above the turbulent Kananaskis River when its running high.
During one hike I was enthralled to watch a kayaker navigating his way in the white water. Even with all his obvious skills he couldn’t trust the river for a second. And it still got to him as suddenly his kayak flipped and he was under water.
Life’s often like that for us, isn’t it?
We live in turbulent times. It’s a perpetual sea of whitewater out there. There is little that is serene and smooth, or safe and predictable. Little that can be trusted.
Sometimes life seems more like the story in a national magazine that assigned a photographer to take pictures of a forest fire. They told him a small plane would be waiting at the airport to fly him over the fire. The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. A small Cessna stood waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, “Let’s go.” The pilot, a tense-looking man, turned the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically. “Fly over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make several low-level passes.” “Why?” asked the nervous pilot. “Because I’m a photographer and I’m going to take pictures.” The pilot replied, “What? You mean you’re not my flight instructor?”
Trust is in short supply these days. And we naturally ask, “Is there anyone we can have confidence in, rely on, and trust, as we navigate the turbulent currents of our lives?”
I first discovered that people can’t always be trusted when I was in Grade Four.
I left school, rounded the corner down the back alley and encountered a bunch of my friends unexpectedly waiting for me. At the front of the pack was my next-door neighbour. As I confidently walked up, he grabbed and pushed me to the ground, sat on my chest, punched me up in the face and then disdainfully said, “And, don’t you ever look at my girlfriend again!”
Since then, the truth is I have been let down time and time again…by employers, by family, by colleagues, by politicians, by the media, by my neighbours, by people in church.
It’s painful to be let down by those you thought you could trust!
Sometimes when the pressures of life are on, and our trust meter has been compromised, we can unwittingly fall into the trap of thinking and acting as if God is also not trustworthy. Maybe he has lost his stuff.
Sure, he was in his prime when he parted the waters for Moses, helped David kill the giant, and rescued Daniel from ravenous lions. But that was 3,000 years ago, and maybe the centuries have taken a toll on God.
Really? What an affront to the God who deserves our trust.
I want to declare to you without reservation, unequivocally, I have never been let down by God. He has never failed my trust. And here is why:
We can trust God because he always keeps his promises and has a perfect record as the commitment-making, commitment keeping God. (Genesis 14:15)
We can trust God because he has all the resources to get us through whatever mud-hole of life we might get stuck in. (Jeremiah 32:17)
We can trust God because he has gone public with a never-ending love for us which we can confidently rely on (1 John 4:16)
We can trust God because he does not change. (Hebrews 13:8)
But trust, authentic trust, does not come easy. Consider the story of the famous wheelbarrow. You may have heard of the 19th century Blondin, notorious for his tightrope walking act 160 feet above the raging Niagara Falls on a rope over 1,000 feet long.
In 1860 a Royal party from Britain saw Blondin cross the tight rope on stilts, and again blindfolded. After that he stopped halfway and cooked and ate an omelette. Next, he pushed a wheelbarrow from one side to the other and returned with a sack of potatoes.
Then Blondin approached the Royal party. He asked the Duke of Newcastle, “Do you believe I could take a man across the tightrope in a wheelbarrow? “Yes, I do,” said the Duke. “Well then, hop in,” said Blondin. The Duke declined Blondin’s challenge. He might have believed Blondin could do it, but he wasn’t about to rely on him, to trust him with his life.
God is looking for followers who will trust him in all circumstances, not just give him lip service. God is looking for people who are not afraid to get into his wheelbarrow! And here’s why.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
(Jeremiah 17: 5-9)
Blessings for week of confidently riding in God’s wheelbarrow!