“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9–11 NLT)
The goal of any good parent is to discern what is best for their child. However, all of us are limited, sinful people; we are limited in our knowledge and understanding, and we are sinful and therefore prone to making selfish, harmful choices. If we could know the ultimate outcome of each choice we made and we were not inclined to choose the easy or the pleasurable over the good, we would certainly make different, better choices for our children. Yet, even hindered by our limited, selfish nature, the choices each parent makes for their children are predicated on the goal of helping them to be better people. Likewise, our Heavenly Father always seeks to do what is best for his children by helping us to be better people, though he is neither limited nor sinful so we can trust that his decisions are truly the absolute best and ultimately for our good and the good of our world.
Still, trusting in our hearts that God’s decisions are the absolute best for us and for our world is one thing, but leaning on that same trust when we are following him into the unknown, the dangerous, or even just the painful is entirely different. It’s easy to trust in the steadfastness of the newly christened ship still in drydock, but the true test comes from riding out a wild storm in the north Atlantic. Think of the disciples as they saw their friend, teacher, and Messiah hanging on the cross; did they still trust that God had their best interests – and the best interests of Israel and the rest of the world – at heart?
Think back to the last time you found yourself in the midst of a trial, tribulation, or trouble and remember where you ultimately placed your trust. Did you trust that God is the best Father who ever was or will be and leaned into his arms, or did you trust in yourself or someone else? Consider what steps you can take to ensure that each time you enter into these difficult periods you choose to trust in the goodness of God.