I could barely contain my excitement. Waiting with as much patience as my eight-year-old self could muster, I’d been counting down the days until I could visit my brother at youth camp. Long before cell phone days, his minimal postcards showcased all his adventures as a counselor and he promised me the same.
Familial greetings out of the way, my brother grabbed my hand as we edged through a wooded trail. “I’m going to show you one of the most beautiful spots, but you’re going to need to trust me as I lead you.”
This was my big, brave brother. Ten years older, wiser and someone in whom I had always put my faith, he would never steer me wrong.
We climbed higher, with each step challenging my footing and my faith. When I thought my tiny legs couldn’t go any farther, we reached the top.
As we reached the rocky precipice, he turned my face towards his, put his hands on my shoulders, looked directly into my eyes and repeated, “Do you trust me?”
“Yes, I trust you.”
“No matter how it appears, I need you to believe and trust me.”
“I will. I told you. Stop asking me,” I huffed with irritation.
He hiked out of sight leaving me alone with unanswered questions. As I heard his voice echo from below the ledge, my mind couldn’t process the request.
“I want you to jump to me. Trust that you’ll be fine. Jump over the edge.”
What was he asking of me? As an adult, I know Scripture refers to having a childlike faith, but in that moment, faith didn’t include my brother. Terrified and confused, I couldn’t even inch toward the ledge. I tried. Paralysis stifled my steps and I croaked, “I can’t.”
I wanted to, but I couldn’t do it.
“Come on! You told me you trusted me. You can do this!” he urged repeatedly.
Tears streamed down my face as the reality of my despair spoke to the condition of my heart. While my voice proclaimed a fervent trust in him, my actions showed no evidence of it.
My brother approached and understood my heartbroken distress.
“I’m sorry.” I sobbed. “I was so scared. I just couldn’t.”
He gently led me to the ledge. What initially appeared to be a large chasm was only a two foot drop.
“It’s called a trust walk.” My brother explained. “I did it with all my campers, and you weren’t the first who bailed.”
Especially during this season of COVID-19, I’m reminded of Miriam’s story in Exodus. Her life exemplified an ongoing walk of trust and faith. Over and over, God brought her to a ledge, boldly challenged her to step forward in obedience, and He never failed to prove Himself worthy.
Miriam’s ledge — from the bank of the Nile where she saved Moses, her baby brother and God’s appointed Savior of Israel, from Pharaoh’s edict to the edge of the immovable Red Sea, she once again faced a crisis of faith.
Although this time, I am the one at the water’s edge as God challenges me to plunge head first into a trust walk of absolute surrender.
I’m terrified, hopeless and unsure — He asks more than I’m able.
Do you trust me? I’m frozen as the chariots draw near.
Do you trust me? Uncertainty plagues me as my eyes fixate on the water wall surrounding me.
Will you trust me when your husband’s job is eliminated? I stumble on the barren Red Sea road. Is this possible?
Will you worship me when your finances fail and your baby is prepped for surgery? I pick up my pace.
Will you praise me when your children turn away? I boldly race forward.
Do you believe that I will part the sea when your marriage struggles? I’m overcome with the declaration of His love, and I raise my arms to the One who never fails.
“Yes, Lord. This is my trust walk of surrender. We’ve come too far to stay on that side of the river. You’ve parted the seas before — You will do it again and I trust you. You reign forever and ever.”
Miriam conquered her impossible and chose to worship as she traveled her Red Sea road. Experiencing sweeping emotions — from doubt and dismay to utter joy and gratitude — her people, God’s chosen Israelites, witnessed God’s power to miraculously destroy their enemies and deliver them from bondage.
Have you ever had such unspeakable joy in the midst of such challenging circumstances that your only choice was to respond through song and dance? Miriam did. At the end of God’s deliverance in Exodus 15:22, Miriam stands on the banks of the sea and sings in thanksgiving to God. Her song testifies, in thanksgiving, God’s mighty power to save.
Oh, to be a woman who leads in her faithfulness and doesn’t waver when the Lord questions, “Do you trust me?” Even in the midst of global pandemic, may I respond with absolute certainty and join Miriam in praising, “Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted: He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea”(Exodus 15:21).
The Lord is worthy of our trust.
God never failed to prove Himself worthy to the Israelites, and He won't fail now. - Jen Schmidt (@beautyandbedlam): Click To Tweet