Sometimes I forget what I know.
Last week, after the final school awards program, I joined my daughter in her classroom to collect her supplies and snap a few farewell photos. First grade has been a fantastic experience, thanks to a loving and gifted teacher.
Since preschool, veteran parents told us this year would be special. Mrs. H is amazing, they said. She’s so laid back and great with the kids. She has boundless patience and creativity. The students adore her. So of course we eagerly anticipated a school year filled with blessings, and we were not disappointed.
Life is so much easier when we know what to expect, eh?
But next year. Ugh. Two weeks ago our school bulletin announced the second grade teacher is moving to a different role, so my daughter’s upcoming shepherd will be a new hire. An unknown.
Immediately the list of frets rolled through my mind.
Will she be sensitive to my child’s needs?
Will she load us down with homework?
Will she call me when my child has a stomachache?
Can I trust her?
I lingered in the classroom chatting with the grandma of another first-grader. “I hope next year is a good experience for the kids. I guess we’ll find out, huh?”
“Oh, it will be.” She nodded. “I have faith.”
“You think so?” I crinkled my eyebrows.
“Of course I do.” She looked at me straight on. “Just have faith.”
Just have faith.
Yeah, have faith. Helloooo! Isn’t that the definition of my life as a Christian? I live by faith, not by sight! Yet still, after all I’ve learned, time and again I default to worry.
Have you heard the popular maxim, “Fear is the opposite of faith”?
The first time I read that, it crushed me. Because the concept implies if you have fear, then you must not have faith. Which I then translated to, if I’m afraid, then I must not be a Christian.
You know what the Bible says about that?
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:38–39, NLT, emphasis added).
Isn’t that good news? Fear does not erase our faith.
But it does waste it.
When we fret, we choose to rely on ourselves instead of God. And that’s a really dumb choice. God knows more, cares more, and sees so much more than we ever could. One of the benefits of a personal relationship with God is the invitation he gives us to tap into his sovereignty. Believe it. Trust it.
And we will not be disappointed.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them,” (Romans 8:28, NLT).
Imagine if we approached every situation with total confidence that it would turn out okay. Not just okay, but good. How would that change our outlook? Our blood pressure? Our sanity?
I left that classroom feeling humbled and relieved—filled with a reclaimed sense of peace that God has everything under control. And even if the second grade teacher is horrible (which is highly unlikely), God will use that experience, too, somehow for our good.
We can’t go wrong with God.
So let’s remember who we are—people of faith—and start living like we mean it. Amen?