Remember that game trust fall? A person behind you is there to catch you, and as you lean back and begin to fall to the ground it is up to them if they will catch you or not. Growing up, this was one of my favorite games to play. One reason is because I would laugh every time I let one of my friends fall to the ground. The other reason is because when I was the one falling, I enjoyed the thrill of falling. As I get older, I am realizing more and more that I play this game every day with God. I am put in situations where God becomes my trust fall partner and I have to let go and trust he will catch me.
God tells us over and over again in Scripture that we can trust him, he has our best interest in mind, and he loves us. With all these promises, why is it so hard to trust God in difficult situations? It is because of fear. Fear cripples, blinds, hinders, deceives, and manipulates us. It replays in our minds over and over the worst possible outcomes of a situation. It isn’t reality; it is how reality would play out if the worst happened. One of the most difficult things is to let go of our fears and trust in God. A man named Joshua knew this struggle all too well.
Moses had just died and 40,000 Israelites were now under the new leadership of Joshua. Joshua was to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The first city in their way was the city of Jericho. This city was well armed and well-guarded. Joshua, leading 40,000 Israelites for the first time in an attempt to fulfill a promise centuries in the making, was left with the task of conquering Jericho. He goes to God and asks him how to take over the city. God tells him to march around Jericho for seven days. On the seventh day the Israelites will shout with all their might, the walls will come down, and the city will be theirs. When Joshua hears this, he has a choice to make. He can either hold onto his fears or let go and trust God.
Imagine if you were Joshua. You are now in charge of 40,000 Israelites who had been led by the great Moses. You have big shoes to fill, but no time to break them in. Your first task as leader is to lead them into the Promised Land. This was a promise that had been made for centuries. Not only that, but Joshua has to tell 1000’s of men who have been waiting decades for this moment, that instead of using their skills in battle, they are to walk around a city for seven days without swinging a sword. Joshua was probably filled with more fear than any of us have ever experienced. What if this plan didn’t work? What if the walls didn’t come down when they yelled? What if the Israelites didn’t follow Joshua’s instruction? What if he became the one to deny the Israelites a promise made to them for centuries? What if the city of Jericho saw them marching around the city and laughed uncontrollably at their tactics? What if they get ambushed? What if God doesn’t follow through on his promise?
Joshua had to answer the question, “Will I trust God in the midst of my fear?” He had to battle with this question each day. He kept answering “yes” and fell into God’s embrace, trusting that he would fulfill his promise to Joshua. In the end, Joshua let go of his fears, trusted God, and saw victory. How many of us are like Joshua? We are put in situations where we must wrestle with choosing God over our fears. God says “trust me,” and we have to let go and fall into his arms. Sometimes this goes against every bone in our body because it isn’t something embedded in our human nature. God told Joshua and his army to non-violently march around a city in order to be victorious. This went against every bone in their body as they were warriors bred for battle.
Sometimes God calls us to trust him. When were in the middle of a difficult situation, we have our own ideas of what we should do. Yet God’s ways many times differ from ours. Sometimes they go against every bone in our body and every feeling we experience. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” We must trust in this. In the middle of a difficult situation it is hard to see any good that will come from it, but we must hold onto the hope that God has our best in mind. When we’re playing the game of trust fall with God, we must fall into his arms. We must trust him when we don’t want to, when we don’t understand why, and even in the midst of fear. When you play trust fall with God, are you going to hold onto your fears or trust that God will catch you?