It is tough for us to trust God when we don’t feel like we have the answers that we want or the resources that we need. We may feel like we are walking blindly, without any idea where God is leading us next.
I sat down with a friend a few months ago and he shared a profound insight about walking by faith. As a missionary with The Navigators, Duane Perry has been my mentor and coach for almost 20 years. Duane, and his wife Ana, seem to show up with a timely word just when we need it and Kimberly and I deeply value their keen insights. As we shared breakfast recently at the local Village Inn, Duane looked at me and said, “You know, Jason, the more I reflect on life and ministry, the more I realize that it all comes down to the two words in the familiar children’s song: Trust and Obey.”
Opportunities are often limited in rural Africa. When people have exhausted their resources, their only option may be to pray, trust and obey—and that is exactly when we see miracles happen! I have heard many stories of God showing up at just the right time, in just the right way, to offer a solution that no one expected.
I have often joked, “How come those types of miracles don’t happen for me?” I admit that it is usually because I haven’t trusted God to deliver a miraculous solution—I have just tried to fix it using my own resources!
Moses’ speech recorded in the earliest verses of Deuteronomy is striking. Moses recaps the miraculous ways that God provided for the Israelites during their Exodus, and then laments, “In spite of all of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by nights and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go” (Deuteronomy 1:32-33).
One author observes, “The people’s obstinate refusal to be encouraged by God’s working for them in the past makes this passage an eloquent testimony to the fickleness of human hearts” (Bible Knowledge Commentary).
It is too easy for us to forget how good God has been. I pray that God will help me increase my capacity to trust and obey—there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus!