During this Advent season, I have been following the Gifts of Advent Devotions.  Each day there is a word, a few verses and a story.  So far I have yet to be disappointed on the “word of the day” as they all seem relevant:  Hope, Wait, Steadfast, Help, Compassion, and Trust.  The word most relevant thus far is Trust.  What comes to mind when you hear Trust?  “Trust in the Lord, for he is good and his mercy endureth forever.”  It sounds very simple.  Please spend a moment reading Psalm 25:  1-10 .  These verses highlight the trust we are to put in the Lord.  “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.”.  This does not seem that simple.  What is we don’t like the path he shows us?  What if we can’t stop long enough to see the way God wants us to go?

Trust in our daily lives and our interactions with others is filled with twists and turns.  We want our kids to grow up trusting in others and trusting in themselves to make good decisions, not to be swayed by others.  As my kids progressed through junior high and high school, I have seen them trust their friends.  I have also seen them trust their teachers and their coaches.  This trust can be a good thing but what happens when the trust breaks down?  How do we teach them to handle situations where trusting in someone ends up hurting.  Then what?   The sports arena is where we see examples of things not working out as we would have liked.  Maybe it is playing time or maybe it is conduct or grades.  Kids watch closely as the season beings but then they start to lack trust if the guidelines outlined aren’t followed.  They follow the rules but others get “passes” for not following the rules.  Who can blame them for becoming disenchanted?  How do we help them through these hard times when life seems terrible all due to a sport or a coach?

Another personal example has to do with my oldest.  We were not sure as to why he ended up at the school he did.  Was it to get away from things that didn’t work out at the end of high school with baseball?  Did he really want to start over?  Multiple reasons but the path forward was incredibly fuzzy.  I kept praying for God to show up the plan and kept encouraging him to trust that there is a plan.  This fall part of the plan was unveiled through a fantastic internship opportunity.  He is a new person, so excited for this challenge and learning so much right before our eyes.  It could not have been a better situation and he knows he was given a gift this semester.  Fun to hear him talk about it as he wraps up the semester.

My devotion this week on trust was perfectly time.  It was a nudge to remember that there is path forward if we are patient.  When our children are faced with adversity, we should help them turn to God.  If one door closes or is even slammed in our face, another one will open if we are patient and trust in God’s plan.  Easy to say, difficult to follow.  “The ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.” He has our backs.  He has our plan.  We just don’t know the end result.

Prayer from the devotion I am following:  “O Christ, the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow, help us see your reliable, trustworthy nature working in us and sustaining us this season and this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.”

~Carol Barham