"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." -James 1:12
Several weeks ago, Murfreesboro TN was placed on the world map when an EF-4 tornado tore through the west side of town, leaving a path of destruction of 23.5 miles long and a half-mile wide. While much of the "clean up" process has taken already been taking place, there are marks of devastation across the landscape of the hearts of some families that will certainly remain forever.
Because the hardest hit area was less than a half-mile from our church and only a few minutes from our own home, I have heard over and over stories of God's amazing goodness, His mercy and His grace, in spite of the storm that took only two precious lives. I've seen pictures of the massive tornado taken from the front porch of a friend's house... And I have seen God's face in the face of those whose homes were completely destroyed but who lived to tell about it without an inkling of bitterness or complaint.
How is it that my friends have managed to remain faithful to their Lord throughout this trial? What is it that keeps them from becoming angry or bitter at God? What keeps them from losing their sanity or from giving up (or worse?) I believe it has to do with the fact that they believe God is looking out for them...that He has their best interests in mind. They may not understand His ways and especially when they aren't what they would have chosen for themselves, but they TRUST HIM.
Such a small word...just five little letters.
Five little letters that caused a young teenager to take on a mouthy giant with a handful of stones and a slingshot... and win! Five little letters that allowed Moses to stand firm in the face of Pharoah and tell him, "Let my people go." Later, it would allow those same freed people to cross the parted Red Sea on dry land. It would teach Job's friends that even in the loss of all that he had (up to and including his life), God was still trustworthy.
TRUST. When the path is unseen or the way unclear. (Hebrews 11:1-6)
TRUST. When you are weary. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
TRUST. When you would rather worry. (Phillippians 4:6)
TRUST. When God's plan seems bigger than you are. (Jeremiah 32:27)
TRUST. When you are disappointed. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Five little letters.
Such a small word.
But He's one REALLY BIG GOD.