One very memorable moment happened after one of my first driving escapades. Waiting three years to be free of seizures traumatized my social life, or at least that is what I thought.
That particular evening I was able to drive instead of being chauffeured to bible study. What independence! Wearing that cloak of pride felt very exhilarating, until I made a legal right on red at a stop light and noticed the car behind me in my rear view mirror. It was the man in blue!.
My fear controlled me, so much so that I did not notice the second red light, which I drove right through. Desperate thoughts bombarded me. Now I am in trouble! Looking in my rear view mirror confirmed that truth, as red lights started flashing. Obviously, this signal meant a Warning or a Ticket.
My self talk began before the policeman walked to the door of my 1976 Vega? “What will happen Lord? I was on my way to church, that is a good thing, right?”
The situation had turned very grim in my mind. The policeman motioned for me to roll down my window so that we could talk. “Ma’am, I need to see your license, registration and proof of insurance please!” His curt voice resounded with authority. I fumbled around for the three items and gave them to him. Then he quickly walked back to his car.
A few minutes prior I was gloating about how Mature I was, and now I was totally humbled and afraid. Where are my parents? I need them. Maybe I could tell this story in about 20 years to my children.
There seemed to be no way out of the situation. Waiting in my car only seemed to fuel my creative thought process, anc caused real WORRY!
Then a menacing image came to mind; an ugly wicked green face, pointed nose, wearing a black cape with a pointed black hat. The Wicked Witch began talking in her sinister voice to the frightened Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. ”I’ll get you my pretty”. Dorothy and I had fear in common at that moment.
Then all of a sudden, the face of the policeman was back at my door. “Ma’am, Why did you go through a red light with a policeman behind you. No one is stupid enough to do that! That is why I am giving you a warning. Have a nice Day!”
Without waiting for my reply, the officer strode urgently back to his car and then drove away. After regaining a semblance of composure, I continued my drive to the church. His words had completely dampened my spirit and made me seem so incredibly stupid. My thoughts were only on poor, pitiful me. How could I have a nice day? My faith had been tested and found to be bereft.
Unfortunately, all I learned was not to go through red lights with a policeman directly behind me. Later I learned of another serious accident down the road, which happened at the same time. Upon reflection, the Lord had saved me. Yes, my ego might have been damaged, but the Lord was teaching me to trust in Him and not in myself. Having faith in God means letting go of leaning on Him.
That same sort of thing happened to Peter with Jesus. Read the below from the book of Matthew.
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while He sent the people home. After sending them home, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About 3 o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw Him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to Him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:23-31, NLT)
Wonder what was going through Peter’s mind? He just admitted that he lacked faith to walk on the water to Jesus. At the same time, I lacked faith in God about my red light situation. That is what I love about our Heavenly Father. He sees our spiritual journey as a way of placing more of our faith in Him.
Teaching your children, at whatever age or circumstance, to place more faith in God than themselves, is very important. He really does help us through anything. He might not always answer our prayers the way we want, but He always has our best in mind. We need to share our teachable moments with our children, and point out their’s when we notice them. We need to let them know that God does take care of us, and He does answer our prayers. The answer is:
- Wait… my timing is perfect
- No… I have something better in mind for you
- Yes… and here comes another adventure….
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance of things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)