I don’t regret many things about my son’s first six years of life, but lately I’ve been thinking that maybe we should have named him “Thomas”, as he seems to be giving “Doubting Thomas” a run for his money in the questioning department!
One recent example of our “Doubting Griffin” came on a very rainy Friday night as my family made our way along the Tollway through rush hour traffic towards the American Airlines Center for a Mavericks game. “Made our way” is actually a very generous term. It would probably be more accurate to say that we “inched” along. What should have taken us thirty minutes ended up taking over an hour and a half.
Knowing that our tickets were secure and that the traffic and weather were completely out of our control, we settled in and tried to enjoy the family time….all of us, that is, except for Griffin, whose nerves seemed to escalate with every minute that passed on the dashboard clock (on which he had his eyes peeled!)
“Oh no!” He would cry. “We are going to be late! They are not going to let us in!”
I tried to reassure him. “It’s fine, Buddy! We have tickets. They will let us in, I promise.”
That seemed to calm him for maybe 5 minutes until…
“Are you kidding me? Look! The game already started! They will never let us in now!”
My husband gave it a shot. “Son, I’m telling you the truth. I have been going to Mavericks games for longer than you have been alive. They have never not let me in no matter how late I arrive. They will let us in. You can trust us.”
That bought us another 2 minutes of peace until…
“The first quarter is probably over already! They are not going to let us in AND they are going to give away our seats!”
I tried again, “Son, we are asking you to trust us. We are your parents, we are telling you the truth. This is something we are sure of. They will let us in. We will get to see most of the game.”
Trust me when I tell you that this pattern continued for the ENTIRE drive to the arena. He even whined the same sentiments and laments as we walked hand in hand from our parking spot to the front door of the AAC…..which we walked right up to before having our tickets scanned in easily and breezing through security.
“What was that about them not letting us in?” I teased him as we walked to our seats.
He looked relieved, but not humbled and defended his doubting ways. “Well, I didn’t think they would! It didn’t make sense to me!”
I adore my son, but if I’m being completely honest, it was a LONG and less than relaxing drive to the basketball game that evening. Fielding his emotional (albeit illogical) argument over and over and over again was not only repetitive, it was annoying. Why didn’t he just trust us? Had we ever done anything to give him cause to question us? Had we ever not followed through with a promise to him? Didn’t he realize that with more than 80 years of collective life experience on him, maybe we might have some insights that he couldn’t see from his six-year-old perspective?
As we settled into our seats that evening, Griffin quickly lost all indications of his earlier distress and began cheering and enjoying the game, but I started to think about how God must view me with the same sort of head-shaking amusement as I viewed my son that night.
My heavenly father has never been anything other than faithful to me. He has proven himself to be trustworthy and true time after time. He has never let me down, and yet I find myself doubting him daily. Not the “does God really exist” type of doubt, but the “can I really trust him” type of doubt.
He promises provision for my every need (2 Peter 1:3) and yet I find myself worrying about having “enough” of the things I think I need.
He promises forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and yet I replay my failures in my head and needlessly hold on to guilt and shame.
He promises that he hears my prayers (Matthew 7) but even before I say “Amen”, I am often trying to find solutions to my own problems rather than to leave them in his capable hands.
He promises that he will never leave me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5) and yet when he is quiet I fear that he has given up on me and left me to my own devices.
He promises to finish the good work he has begun in me (Phil. 1:6) but I am often unsatisfied with the pace at which he is working and pester him to work faster!
He promises that he will work good in all things (Romans 8:28) but I repeatedly ask him to remove anything that is too uncomfortable or scary.
He promises that nothing can separate me from His love (Rom 8:38-39), yet I find myself welling up with emotion every single time I read Romans because in my own limited understanding I cannot fully comprehend how this amazing news could be true.
I believe that my son knows that we, his parents, love him deeply and are trustworthy and honest, but on that long, slow car ride, he still needed constant reassurance and reminders that what we said was true. Relying on his own perspective and knowledge caused him to lose hope and required that he seek out frequent reminders that hope was not lost and that things were under control.
I’m grateful that our Heavenly Father patiently does the same for me, his doubting daughter. He has given me His Word, which is full of constant reminders that he is trustworthy and true. He gives me His Spirit through whom I am able to trust and believe His promises, and He allows me to approach him in prayer to ask for forgiveness and the grace to live within those promises.
What about you? Which promises of God do you struggle to trust fully? I challenge you to get into the Word today and to rest once again in the reassurance that we can trust God, our Father, to keep ALL of his promises, ALL of the time!