Everyone has trials, and they seem to come sometimes like waves – one right after the other. But like the seagulls, God means for us to soar above the raging torrent below, so that our feet do not even get wet — to trust Him. You’ve heard this promise, I’m sure:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Christians have often quoted this verse believing that God would still the waves of their trial as He did when Jesus stilled the Sea of Galilee. Or they have hoped that God would at least get them off the beach before the next wave. But God doesn’t want to just still the waves or get us off the beach –
He wants us to soar above and in spite of the waves!
God’s “way of escape” doesn’t always mean He will rearrange the circumstances to fit what we desire. In fact, God’s way out will most often take the form of trusting in Him no matter what happens. Let me share a couple stories.
Recently I was away from home attending a two-week class intensive. During lunch break on one of our first days, I broke a tooth while eating beans and rice. I’d been having trouble with that tooth for a long time, and had been babying it this far. I was hoping it would hold for a long while yet. It didn’t.
I called my dentist, and though they had been totally booked up, someone had just cancelled for 5 p.m. the next day. Perfect! I wouldn’t have to miss an entire day of class; only a couple hours!
I’d booked a shuttle to the airport for a classmate and me, and had given them my cell number. Our plane was to leave at 3:05 p.m., and I’d asked for the shuttle at 1 p.m. We could be at the small airport by 1:30 p.m.
We got out of class around noon and spent the next hour milling around and saying good-bye to everyone, as this was our last time together (we’d been together for 4 years of intensives). About 12:45 I realized I’d better hold onto my phone in case the shuttle called. But I couldn’t find my phone, even though I searched my purse and luggage.
At 12:50 I ran outside to make sure the shuttle hadn’t come. My classmate (I’ll call her Ann) and I were out front with our luggage at 1 p.m., but no shuttle. I used Ann’s phone to call, and found out it would be there at 1:25. That would cut us close, but we’d make it. Meanwhile, we were both searching for my phone, and calling places where I’d been.
About 1:33 I called the shuttle again. It would be there in 8 minutes. About 12 minutes later I called again. It was on its way and almost here. This was getting really close. Another 10 minutes passed, and I called again. This time I was told the driver had gotten lost, but was in close proximity. Finally about 2:05 the shuttle appeared.
Ann made it through security with no problem, but I was held up because I was bringing back some Helva (sesame seed & honey candy) and security didn’t know what it was. So my carry-on luggage was opened and re-scanned.
Before I was finished with security, our names were being called. Ann went on ahead and found out that the second leg of our journey was cancelled because of the weather, so we’d be spending the night in the airport after the first leg.
I would’ve had to spend the night in the second airport anyway, as I’d have gotten in too late at night to catch the last shuttle to my area. But spending the night in the first airport meant I’d be home a lot later the next day.
God actually worked it out so that I met a friend in the second airport who “happened” to be going to my area, and gave me a ride, getting me home hours earlier than if I’d taken the shuttle.
These situations were both “waves” that God could’ve easily stilled. He can mend a broken tooth or hold it together, and He can see that shuttles come on time and airplanes fly.
But He uses circumstances to teach us about trust – about teaching us to soar above the waves.
The interesting thing about the tooth situation is that instead of getting stressed-out about it, I immediately recognized God’s hand in it. This was the very best time of the entire year for me to break this tooth, since my dentist was only 45 miles away! (Why I have a dentist out of my area is another story . . .) I was able to soar above the waves. My feet never even got wet.
But I’m not perfect! The combination of losing my cell phone (which I still haven’t found), having only a few minutes to search for it before leaving, and the shuttle’s lateness, stressed me out. Yet at the same time that I was stressed, I knew that no matter what happened, I was still in God’s hands, and I honestly wasn’t afraid. I just wanted things to work out they way I wanted them to!
And perhaps that’s where the stress lies for us. I wanted everything to work like clockwork. But God wanted me to trust Him even when things didn’t work out the way I expected.
My holding onto MY way got my feet wet!
God’s way of escape was to trust Him and stay dry!
How do we build trust?
Through situations like this.
Through seeing God care for us even when bad things happen.
And through choosing to let Him be in control and stop insisting that things happen like we want them to.
This is our way of escape, our way to soar above the waves.
How about you? What are some situations in which you have learned to trust God?