Most of us would ten times rather travel a road in life that is smooth and straight, where you can see for miles in front of you. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to choose the road we travel. Having two sons embark on a path of military life put me on a road that truthfully, as a mom, I didn’t want to travel. Many times on this journey, I have found myself at a fork in the road having to decide if I will take the path that is full of worry, anxiety, and tears or the path where I rest in my faith and trust in the One who can protect and secure them better than I, Jesus. Today is one of those days where I stand at the fork. With one of my sons facing deployment, my mama’s heart begins to feel the ache of fear, but I also hear the soft whispers of Jesus saying “trust me.” I have to pause here and tell you how ironic it is that back at the end of December, I had chosen my “one word” to hunker down on for the next year, it was the word “trust.” When we got the news of our son’s deployment, I wanted to quickly change my word, I didn’t want to have to experience the hardship of stretching my “trust muscles.” Yet here I am, the rubber is meeting the road.
Faith and trust go hand in hand. You will not fully trust someone if you don’t really have faith in who they are. As I ponder my choice of path, I was reminded of a story from the Bible of three men who stood at a fork in the road on a journey they didn’t choose. In the Book of Daniel, we read of three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who had been taken captive from Jerusalem by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. In the face of opposition, they chose to continue to follow after the One True God and not succumb to the pressures of worshipping and bowing down to another. This infuriated the king because he was the one who wanted to be worshipped. In his anger, the king ordered that these three men be thrown into the furnace and the furnace was to be heated seven times hotter than usual. So here was their fork in the road. Do they choose the way that leads to fear, anxiety, and worry, or do they choose the way where they rest in the faith and trust in their God? The rubber has met the road in terms of their faith and trust in their One True God. It is a time when the faith and trust they had in their God was put to the test. What did they choose? “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if (bold letters are my doing) he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” This was their response; they chose trust regardless of what they faced in life. Could I be as brave? Could you?
The words “I trust you, even if” form a lump in my throat as I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and begin to walk. This path is not easy, and it will require me to ask for God’s help each and every day, to keep putting one foot in front of the other on this journey. With my “trust muscles” straining with each step, I keep walking, my eyes fixed on Jesus and my heart tied to His Words of peace. Where the rubber meets the road of my faith, I choose to trust! Which path will you take? – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).