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How Can I Trust God When I Don’t Understand?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
When I was thirteen, my dad, who is a Taekwondo Instructor, sent my brother and I to our first club championship in Thailand, where various Taekwondo clubs from various countries were invited to send participants. Unfortunately, my dad wasn’t able to come with us, but we had our mom taking care of us, and a Malaysian team to train with beforehand – thankfully, my dad had a Taekwondo friend who also owned a Taekwondo school in Malaysia. Leading up to the event, my dad made sure we were as prepared as we could be. Our preparation and training didn’t always make sense to me, but even though I didn’t always understand why my dad had us doing or learning certain things, I trusted him as my coach, and ultimately, as my loving father.
I’ll never forget my dad telling me to learn a song and to be ready to sing it when needed. I was, needless to say, confused by this. I thought I was going to a Taekwondo tournament, not a singing contest. The thought of singing in front of people was never something I sought out or desired, as I was pretty shy at that time. Regardless, my dad was able to convince me to learn a song by Brian McKnight, called “Win”. For anyone who may recall, this song played during the ending credits of a movie called, “Men of Honor”, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. The lyrics had to do with never giving up, getting back up when you fall, and in the end being determined to win.
At the opening ceremony for the tournament, a banquet-style dinner was provided with performances, acknowledgements and dance competitions to enjoy. While looking for a seat at a table with the Malaysian team, I ended up sitting next to one of the championship organizers. When there was an invitation from the stage to participate in a Thai dancing competition, involving who could do a better job at copying some Thai dancers to win a prize, the championship organizer managed to get me to overcome my fear and go up. Let me be clear, I had no intention of volunteering myself to participate for such a competition. However, I did my best to copy what I saw and somehow received the loudest applause for my performance – phew the worst was over, or so I thought. Of all the things to come next in order to win my prize, I was asked to sing a song! I couldn’t believe it! As you can imagine, I sang the one song I learned for the trip that my dad suggested I commit to memory. I didn’t understand why my dad had me learn a song for the championship, but somehow he knew I would need to have one ready, and he was right.
I have often thought about that first club championship since I was thirteen and the trust I had to have in my dad to help me succeed even when it didn’t make sense, even when it was hard, and even when he wasn’t physically with me at the event. I may not have always enjoyed the process, but I knew it was always for my benefit. As with our walk with God, King Solomon encourages us in Proverbs 3:5 to trust in the Lord, not with all our mind, but with all our heart, which requires faith. Pastor Dave explained the word faith for us in the sermon this past weekend entitled, “A Hope to Have Enough”; faith is following God’s instruction without an explanation. The reason why we can do this with confidence, though not always easy, is because we know who God is – a loving Father. King Solomon goes on in verse 6, telling us that as we put our faith in God, seeking Him and bringing before Him all our ways and everything we do, God will lead us and keep us on track, removing the obstacles that arise. What a wonderful promise and truth that we can hold onto, no matter the challenge that life can present. We can know our faithful Father God loves us and knows best.