In the past two weeks, I have been extremely stressed about my final projects and papers and other responsibilities. (“Other responsibilities” are more personal so I won’t be specific). Yesterday, Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:30 flew into my mind and made a nest. All throughout the day and night, I struggled to understand what it means and especially what it feels to believe that Jesus’ burden is light and yoke is easy. As I wrestled with this lack of understanding, God reminded me of something beautiful.
My Heavenly Father is less interested in what I know about Him. Not to say that I should not strive to know Him more and more. What I mean is that instead of knowing everything I could about Him, I think He is more interested in if I trust Him or not. Of course, trust requires some knowledge about the object of trust, but trust in itself implies a lack of knowing.
Think about a child who is standing outside of the pool looking at her dad in the pool with arms open wide, inviting her to jump. Surely, she knows her dad, but she does not have detailed knowledge about her dad. Perhaps, the child knows that her dad is a teacher and that he’s ridiculously tall. She also knows he likes watching T.V. and that he sometimes makes her laugh. But consider all the things she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that he came from a poor family and had to work hard to get into college. She doesn’t know that he completed a rigorous Ph.D program in English and that he is a Professor at one of the best universities. She doesn’t know that he was a comic nerd growing up or that he kisses her every morning while she is asleep. (A fictitious father).
Despite not knowing everything about her dad and despite not knowing her lack of knowing, she knows the most important thing about her dad– He is her father, and her father is strong. Thus, in a split-second she trusts her father and takes a leap of faith, literally and metaphorically.
Contrary to the child’s split-second decision to trust and jump into the Father’s arms, I stand paralyzed on the edge of the pool. And let me tell you something, standing there is stressful and anxiety provoking! In this standstill, I realize that doubt is an underlying experience. I doubt that I will experience any change or relief with my stress and anxiety. I doubt that I know how to evoke that change. I doubt myself because I have head knowledge about God’s sovereignty and goodness but lack the heart knowledge. In all this doubt, I thought the solution was knowing how to “let go and let God,” but this implied a solution focused on my efforts and understanding of the process.
In conclusion, God was gracious to remind me about child-like trust, in which the relationship and bond is both the holding environment and impetus. Trusting God is embedded in having a relationship, and trusting God reinforces the relationship. And as the little child teaches us, life does not depend on your robust knowledge of God but the truth that God is Your Father and that He is robust.
I can and should probably just jump.