How do we learn to trust God with our future implicitly?
How do we know what path to take when we come to a fork in the road?
On our way to work each day, my family and I have the pleasure of driving past beautiful golden fields with the morning mist floating above the ground. This is our time to reflect on God’s presence and the beauty of His creation. Often we pass a hot air balloon, gently suspended in the sky, unattached from the busyness of the peak hour traffic below. It’s amazing the impact such a scene can have upon you. Our kids always become so excited when we spot the balloon and we soon become quiet and reflective as we watch it gliding seamlessly above us.
And yet, once it lands, what momentarily seemed so large and amazing, deflates so quickly.
It’s amazing how God can use just about anything to illustrate a point.
At times, we soar high and free with the worries of the world far beneath us. We bring joy and awe and perhaps people look up to us as we journey on in our relationship with Christ. But it is in those times when we choose to look down rather than up, that our fear takes over and we begin to fall rapidly to the ground, often experiencing a bumpy landing. Before long, the bright colours of the balloon are laid bare on the earth and what was once impressive is no longer so.
The flame that keeps us afloat is the Holy Spirit. If our relationship with Christ is healthy and strong, then we can soar on wings like eagles, we can run and not grow weary, we can walk and not grow faint (Isaiah 40:31). It is by His strength that we can do all those things He calls us to do.
Sometimes the path is not clear. Sometimes we need to trust. Just like a hot air balloon is at times directed by the wind, so too do we need to trust in the breath of the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us. Yes, there is a risk in taking flight in such a fragile object, but there is also great joy and excitement, along with a new perspective which one can only gain by committing to take off in the first place.
There are many times I have to battle with my students’ fears before they can let go and take flight in their learning. I normally need to remind them of two things. 1 – that they should not fear failure and, 2 – that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them (Philippians 4:13).
As teachers, one of the most significant aspects of our role is to equip students for the world that awaits them once they leave our grounds. We need to prepare them for what lies ahead. Yet, the complexity of such a task is at times overwhelming due to the uncertainty of the future that they are stepping out into. Much of our journey as faith-filled disciples is composed of trust. As Corrie Ten Boom reminds us,
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
This trust does not always come easy. Often it needs to be learned, and it is a choice. Our students should see transparency in our lives. We should be honest and open enough to, where appropriate, share our struggles and subsequent reliance on God. If we don’t, we run the risk of students categorising biblical studies as some form of mythology with no actual truth or relevance to their lives.
Our students will hit roadblocks. They will be required to make tough choices. They will be required to persist and overcome. Our role is to remind them that it can be done and that often success is found in relying on Christ to help us make it through.
As we continue to guide and nurture our students, be they five or seventeen, let us not forget to model trust in God as we continue down the path He has laid before us. Let us take risks and fly high when we are called to, and let us rest in Him when the time is right.