Archive for the ‘Trusting God’ Category

Don’t You Remember?

Posted: September 26, 2013 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

I was sitting at my desk, colored pens and highlighters strewn about, a blank Word document flashing on my computer screen, and all I could see was that to-do list in front of me with those ominous words: “Due This Week.” The list was too long. A 10-page paper, a biology exam, extra class lectures, another test, a biology project, moot court arguments, a mock trial round, regular class readings…and all in a four day period. I looked at that color-coded list and could only think one thing: I just can’t do it. Not this time. It’s not going to all get done.

Sometimes I wish I could see God’s face when I say things like that. Does he chuckle? Does he smile knowingly – already seeing exactly what my week is going to be like? Or does his face show disappointment? Are his eyes sad, as I imagine they were when he turned to His disciples in the middle of the storm and said, “You of little faith…why do you doubt?”

The thing is, while the last week and a half of my life has been ridiculously busy with hardly an hour to rest between finishing one project and starting the next, and though  I’ve gotten little sleep, finished assignments sometimes at the last minute, and sometimes just didn’t perform up to my perfectionist standards…this wasn’t anything new for my life. I’ve had busy weeks before (as a college senior, I’ve already survived six semesters and two summers of midterms and finals). I’ve looked at a long to-do list before. And yes, I’ve panicked over them too.

But even so, I’ve always made it through. And more than that – I’ve still always managed to thrive through even the busiest times. Why? Not because of anything on my part, but because every time that I’ve reached the end of my rope, God has shown His love and faithfulness to reach even farther.

Over my time at college, I’ve watched as God has provided the perfect research for papers the night before they are due. I’ve seen how He inspires professors to cancel classes, change due dates, or give extensions for no particular reason…just in the moments when I need it most. I’ve experienced God’s love through hugs from friends or conversations with professors, when I desperately needed encouragement. There have been nights when I should have been utterly exhausted, yet God gave me wakefulness and alertness to finish the assignment due the next day. He has, in fact, somehow always provided for my needs and sustained me through my busiest and most stressful weeks at school. But I forget this so easily.

I think God nudged me with His truth this week. Even as I looked at that long list and swore I’d never get it done, in the back of my mind, I could hear Him asking me, “Don’t you remember? Haven’t I always sustained you? Haven’t I always carried you through this? Why would I abandon you now? I’m here…have faith in me.”

Jesus promised that if we have even the smallest faith in him, “even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.” My pile of schoolwork may not quite be a mountain (though it feels like it), but resting in God’s faithfulness, I was able to make it through. Now if only I can remember that next time….

A Detour Worth Taking

Posted: November 12, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

The other day, I was visiting my younger brother’s college campus to pick up books from his college’s library for a research project. After picking up about 40 lbs. of books and shoving them into my backpack, I met him on the main floor of the library. Being the sweet young gentleman that he is, he immediately reached out and shouldered my heavy backpack for me. As we walked back through his campus so that I could bring him home for the weekend, we were struck with a bit of a dilemma. I needed to pick up the car in the parking garage…and he needed to go get his luggage from his dorm room. Either we were going to have to split up and go our separate ways — in which case I’d have to walk alone and carry my heavy backpack again.  Or, I’d have to walk with my brother, out of my way to his dorm, while he continued to carry my load.  Honestly, the choice wasn’t too difficult.  I decided to take the detour rather than lug my books to my car.

While it ended up being a fairly simple choice to change my route to walk along with my brother so he could carry my books, I find it difficult, at times, to yield my way to God so I can walk alongside Him.

Midterms are over now, but paper and forensic tournament season has arrived. Toward the end of the semester, one of my favorite verses always is Matthew 11:28-30:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

These verses always serve as a good reminder that God is willing and able to carry my load and give me rest.

Recently, though, I’ve been under a lot of stress. Between tests, papers, upcoming moot court tournaments, and falling behind in school due to a long illness, I’ve got a lot on my plate and on my mind. Feeling weighed down, I turned to this verse and wondered…why isn’t my burden light like this verse promises?

The answer came to me in the form of Jerry Bridge’s book Trusting God. In one chapter, Bridges notes:

I once attended a seminar on the subject of Christians and stress.  One of the speaker’s main points was that, if we want to live less stressful lives, we must learn to live with a single agenda: God’s agenda….God is sovereign over people.  He will move their hearts to cause them to do His will, or He will restrain them from doing anything contrary to His will.  But, it is His will, His agenda for our lives, that God will guard, protect, and advance.  We must learn to live by His agenda if we are to trust Him.

That was my problem, I realized. Like my walk with my brother, I was faced with a dilemma. If I am to be yoked with God – if He is to carry my load and give me peace – one thing is required: I have to be going the same direction. Stress comes from choosing to carry pressures myself. We have a choice between two ways: walking alone or walking with God. God only walks on God’s path in His way. If we go His way, He’ll carry the weight of the pressure (as He shares our yoke). But if we decide to go our way, we’re left to carry the load alone.

With all my pressures and tasks, the stress was coming because I wanted things to go my way. I wanted to ace the test. I wanted to write the perfect paper. I wanted to win in Moot Court. By insisting on my own way, I was forcing myself to carry the heavy load. Rather than prayerfully giving my burdens to God and trusting Him for the outcome (going His way), I’ve been figuratively “heading straight to the parking garage carrying my own load of books.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Like my little brother – and, obviously, so much more so – God  is right there to carry my load…if I just choose to go along with Him. While I may resist the “detour”  from the route I’ve plotted out for myself, if I want rest, peace, and joy, God’s way is the only option.

Was God a No-Show?

Posted: November 8, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Hope, Trusting God

Every political candidate knows that one of the most important parts of any campaign is the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort. You can do anything you want on the campaign and spend however many millions of dollars on campaign ads, but if you don’t get your supporters registered to vote and ensure that they actually show up at their polling location, your campaign is worthless. This election day, the GOTV effort was legendary as millions of Americans flocked to their polling stations and waited for hours in line to vote. But, as I sat in my family room on Tuesday night and watched the results of the election come in – as my heart sank with each reported result that went the “wrong way” – one thought echoed in my mind: where was God’s turnout in response to my prayers?

I pray for our nation – and particularly, for this election – every day, as I know many Christians in this country do. I prayed specifically that God would raise up godly leaders who would fight for Biblical principles and defend the innocent – like the unborn. In a way, I and many Christians across the country waged a prayer campaign for this election.

Perhaps that is why I, and others, felt so devastated and discouraged when the results returned to show that our country had elected men and women who – although I believe sincerely desire to help the country – do not promote biblical principles, nor work to protect the unborn. Also, across the nation, ballot initiatives passed which undermine traditional values of faith and family.  It wasn’t just that campaigns failed to turn out enough voters. It felt like the most important person of all – the One to whom we’ve directed our pleas and petitions to for all these months – just…didn’t show up, like the many no-show voters who were just “too busy” or forgot. Where was God on election day?

As I’ve been mulling over this question for the past couple of days, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions:

  1. When we don’t see His hand, we learn to trust His heart.
    One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Hebrews 2, where it says, “Now in putting everything in subjection to [Christ], [God] left nothing outside [Christ’s] control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. But we see Him…”At the moment, we can’t see what God’s plan is for our nation. We can’t understand how this election somehow fits into His overall scheme. We can’t even see how this election was somehow subject to His sovereign plan. However, we know Him. We know His heart. We know that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. We know that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. And we know that He is watching over us…even when we can’t see it. We may not understand God’s plan for our country…but we know Him and can trust His heart.
  2. God doesn’t need to do things our way to accomplish His purposes.
    I’m sure we are not the first Christians – nor the last – to wonder why God allowed bad things to happen to our nation. The Israelites must have wondered what God was doing when He allowed them to be conquered by the Assyrians and Babylonians. The first Christians must have wondered why Jesus didn’t return to overthrow Nero and bring an end to the persecution the church experienced. Christians around the world must wonder why God allows tyrannical Communist and Muslim regimes to rule despite prayers for relief.Under today’s leadership, we do not experience anything like what these Christians have experienced. But we can take comfort that God works, even through ungodly leaders to accomplish His purposes. The pagan Babylonian king – Nebuchadnezzar – had a direct encounter with God which forced Him to acknowledge God as the Sovereign of the universe. Through Pharaoh, God revealed His power to the Israelites. Through Artaxerxes, God provided the funds for the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Through Nero, God scattered the church and His saving gospel across the globe.God’s purposes will be accomplished in His time and His way. He does not need to operate through our chosen leader or through our chosen strategy. He will accomplish His perfect will in this country – no matter what the election results say.

So where was God on election day? He was there. He was present. He was aware. He never left us. He heard our prayers. Though many of us may wonder what God’s plan is for our nation, this election should not be a source of discouragement for us, nor should it shake our faith in our good, gracious, and loving God. When we serve a sovereign God, no situation is ever impossible or hopeless. Instead, it is time for Christians to continue to pray for our nation and wait in anticipation to see how God is going to work and move beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.

Note: This blog post is not meant to be a commentary on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of any particular party or politician. If your party celebrated a victory this election, I hope that you recognize that this post is still relevant to you. Whether you face disappointments in prayers for an election, or for healing, or for — really — any area of life, these points still stand. Please continue to intercede in prayer for our nation and our leaders.

Victory

Posted: November 5, 2012 by clairer in Trusting God

A shocking and tragic email appeared in my inbox this afternoon: a beautiful and beloved professor at my college had closed her eyes for the last time yesterday evening. It was sudden — no one at my college anticipated or expected it.

In a way, the timing was very sobering for me. Attending a college with a strong political focus, tomorrow’s presidential election has been very prominent in my view. But my professor will never know, nor need to worry about, the results of tomorrow’s election. Safe in Jesus’ arms, she is already reveling in Christ’s ultimate victory — over death, over sickness, over all…

Her view from heaven is the right view. Tragic and sudden deaths will occur in this world. Elections will come and go. Politicians whom we support will win and lose. But as we continue to walk through this life, whether we celebrate or mourn, we can take comfort in Christ’s ultimate victory.

In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Our Daily Grace

Posted: May 31, 2012 by clairer in Contentment, Trusting God, Worry

I was a high school junior and I desperately wanted to attend Furman University. The problem, though, was…finances. Furman cost a fortune and the only way that I was going to be able to go there after graduating was if I qualified for a scholars program that winter. Another problem: my SAT score was 50 points short of the threshold for the scholars program. Fifty points isn’t an unrealistic jump between the first and second times testing, so I had high hopes when I retook the SAT that winter. My whole future rested on that test. I needed those points or…the world would end (for me at least).

Two weeks later, at 7am, my mom came into my room to tell me my results: my score fell 100 points. That was it…I couldn’t go to my dream school. I should have been devastated. My mom fully expected me to dissolve into tears on the spot. But…I was strangely at peace. I couldn’t explain it. I suppose it was the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Had someone asked me a week earlier how I expected to react if I didn’t get those 50 points, that was definitely not what I expected. But, this was just one example of something that I’ve seen over and over again throughout the years: God gives us grace to weather storms when they come, not before they do.

It’s so easy to worry about the future – especially about big decisions like college, employment, or marriage. I can’t count how many hours I’ve probably spent thinking and rethinking my future plans. My friends like to laugh at me because my college course schedule has changed probably about a dozen times in my first two years of college. I’ve worried about both likely and unlikely circumstances: what if I fail my classes?…What if I get stuck in a boring job?…What if I become chronically ill? Sometimes I’m not sure how I’d manage to cope if things in my life began to fall apart.

However, one of my pastors once had a wonderful piece of advice for me about worry. He told me that worry is pointless because we’re stressing about something that God has not given us grace for yet.

Corrie ten Boom told a story in her book The Hiding Place about a conversation with her father when she was a little girl:

“Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…”  

Corrie was highlighting precisely what I felt that morning when I found out I could no longer go to my “dream college.” I couldn’t explain the peace that I felt that morning, but I know for sure that that peace was the strength and grace of God that arrived precisely when I needed it. God never promised that we would get everything that we wanted, but He did promise that He would comfort us and would help us to make it through the difficult times. It’s like what Jesus said to his disciples when he cautioned them about persecution, “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.” (Mat. 10:18-19)

When we worry about things before they come, we’re wasting our energy. God gives us the peace and comfort just in time. He supplies our daily grace.

No Regrets

Posted: May 29, 2012 by clairer in God's Power, Purpose, Trusting God

I’m not a huge fan of the Field of Dreams. In my opinion, it’s a bit slow and rather nonsensical. Other than being a baseball movie, really, the only thing I like about the movie is the scene below. In this scene, Doc – once a young man with one major league at-bat, and now an old man past his prime – gets to go back and relive his baseball dream, until…


I suppose that in some ways, this is a tragic clip – Doc had to give up his own dream in order to save a young girl’s life. But I think there’s more to this scene than simply sacrificial undertones. I think it raises an important question about regrets and “if only’s” in our lives.

One of the most frequently quoted verses in the New Testament is probably Romans 8:28, “…and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This verse has become so routine that I think the concept can sometimes become stale. Take a minute to ponder this truth: for Christians, God works everything – our mistakes, our failings, our hurt, our confusion – for our good. Mistakes that we make are no longer mistakes – they are avenues to God’s greater purposes for our lives.

In this scene from Field of Dreams, Doc had the opportunity to go back and relive the dream he had left behind 60 years previously – playing baseball in the major leagues. But although Doc may have lived with regrets that he was never able to realize his dream, his decision to become a doctor instead led him (providentially) to a small village and a thriving medical practice that impacted the lives of hundreds of people around him for decades. In this clip, he essentially let’s go of the past, and embraces where his life has taken him.

I think this idea can really be seen in C.S. Lewis’s Prince Caspian. Lucy, a girl who goes to the fanciful world of Narnia, does not follow Aslan (Narnia’s parallel of God) when he originally calls. Instead, she follows her siblings into a disastrous alternate route. When Lucy sees Aslan later, she immediately regrets her mistake and wishes she could know what would have happened if she had followed Aslan.  She pleads:

“Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?” said Lucy rather faintly.
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No, nobody is ever told that. But anyone can find out what will happen.”

I think Aslan’s last line is very telling. In God’s kingdom, there is no room for looking back, for wondering what would have happened. As Corrie ten Boom once said, “There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s kingdom.” But all these past things are used by God to lead and guide us to be who we are today, and to be who we are called to be in the future – to shape what will happen.

I definitely find this comforting in my own life when I look back and wonder – did I get this right? Did I choose the right internship? Did I take the right course? Did I say the right thing? Did I spend my time wisely on that day? Maybe I made wise choices, maybe I made foolish choices and I will reap the benefits and consequences of those decisions. However, nothing that I do can surprise God or mess up His greater plan and purpose for my life. And ultimately, despite the consequences of mistakes, He’ll work all things together for my good. There are no “if only’s” when you have a sovereign and loving God.

A Father to Cry With

Posted: December 29, 2011 by clairer in God's Goodness, Trusting God

It is not uncommon for people to tell me when I’m struggling with difficulties or trials to “trust God” because He will work it all out for my good even if I can’t see it yet. It’s a good reminder and I know it’s true because the Bible guarantees that God “works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” However, sometimes I want — I need — something more than just that reassurance of future hope. I know that I have a sovereign God, but sometimes I need to be reminded that He is also my loving Father.

I find it very easy to imagine God as….not unsympathetic, but almost unfeeling toward the pain that I experience. I know that God loves me, but I can easily picture Him as more distant — seeing my pain, but (although He cares) not particularly hurting with me because of His omniscient confidence that all will end well.

But….is this how a true, good father would behave toward his hurting child? Even if the father knew that everything would be okay — for example, if a father knew his child’s broken leg would set and heal properly — would he be distant and content with just that knowledge? Or, is it more likely that he will still ache with and for his child and the pain his child must endure before the healing? Obviously, a good father would do the latter. In the same way, I believe God also aches for his children when they are hurting, since He cares even more for His children than any earthly father could (Matthew 7:11).

John 11:35 has often been reduced to a bit of trivia in Christian circles. “What is the shortest verse in the Bible?” Answer: “Jesus wept.” But I think we often miss the context and significance of that verse. That verse is found in the chapter where Lazarus dies and Jesus returns to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knew that everything would “work out.” He even told Martha, Lazarus’ sister, that “Your brother will rise again.” However, when Mary, Lazarus’ other sister, came to see Jesus and Jesus saw her weeping, the Bible says that “He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” and then…”Jesus wept.”

Jesus mourned alongside Mary and the other mourners. His omniscience did not keep Him from keenly feeling and experiencing the pain of His little children. In the same way, God is not distant or unfeeling toward any of His children in pain now. Instead, as a loving Father, He is “near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in Spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

Hanging On

Posted: November 28, 2011 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, God's Goodness, Hope, Purpose, Trusting God

I think that one of the most poignant scenes in the Lord of the Rings occurs at the end of the Return of the King. The ring has finally been cast into the sea of lava in Mount Doom and Frodo dangles over the lava at the edge of the cliff, clinging with all his might to a jagged rock. He looks down as the most important object in life — the reason for his year-long journey — sinks and dissolves in the fire beneath him. Then he looks up at Sam, offering him a hand. He looks back at the ring. For a moment, it looks like he will let go…that he will follow the ring to a fiery end.

It’s that moment that always stands out to me. Frodo thought — even just for a moment — of letting go. What was going through his mind as he watched the most valuable thing in life dissolve beneath him? What could he do? He couldn’t get it back. He was faced with only two options: cling to the cliff or let go and sink below.

Recently, though, I feel like I’ve been able to understand Frodo just a bit more. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve watched as God has taken certain things that I have invested in and cherished in my life — just like the ring for Frodo — and has dropped them into the fires of “Mount Doom.” Some days, I feel just like Frodo…like I’m just “holding on.”

But like Frodo, I’m also faced with a decision. No, it’s not a choice between life and death, but it is a choice between hope and despair. When these trials entered my life, I couldn’t get rid of them. I couldn’t just “fix” them anymore than Frodo could prevent the ring from dissolving. But that leaves me with only two options: cling or let go.

But unlike Frodo, I’m not clinging to a rock made out of granite and dirt, I’m clinging to the Rock, my Salvation. When I lose the things that matter most to me in life, I can sink into the waves of despair or I can cling to the promises of God. I can cling to the promise that God loves me, that He will never give me more than I can bear, that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, that He knows the plans He has for me — plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. These are the only sure things I can cling to, and in times of trial, these promises are what is keeping me from sinking.

I think that sometimes God gives us trials just to shake our foundation — to show us that what we’ve built our life upon can just disappear. But when we lose our footing and we need something to grab onto to keep us from sinking, He intends that we cling to Him — to that solid Rock — and His loving and everlasting promises. After all, what other option do we have?

How’s Life?

Posted: October 5, 2011 by clairer in Contentment, God's Faithfulness, God's Goodness, Trusting God

As I sat in a corner booth of my college’s dining hall, hunched over a 2-inch binder full of Supreme Court cases to memorize, I glanced up to see a friend of mine slip into the booth across from me. “How’s life treating you?” she asked as she sat down. How was I supposed to answer that? I had three midterms and a paper coming up within hours of each other this week and I was sick….how did she think life was treating me? As I bit back complaints about my exhaustion, busyness, and sickness, it occurred to me that I was looking at this question from the wrong perspective. My outlook shouldn’t have been, “How is life treating me?” Life is busy, chaotic, and far from perfect. But that’s not what matters. A better way to view this question was, “How is God treating me?”

When I mentally rephrased my friend’s question this way, my whole attitude and perspective on my life drastically shifted. I went from thinking about all the things wrong or hard in my life, to thinking about how many things were undeservedly right in my life?

How is God treating me?

He is treating me with love. He, a holy and just God, is viewing me, a rebellious sinner, through the lens of the righteousness of His Son because He loved me enough to send His son to die for me!

He is treating me with undeserved grace. I am attending a strong Christian college where I can devote myself to studying the things I love. He has surrounded me with caring friends and a loving family. He has given me generally good health, a wonderful church, and a range of opportunities. What did I do to deserve such favor? Nothing. Yet God is gracious and gives these things to me.

He is treating me with faithfulness. Before my tests, I knew that He would grant me the strength that I needed to study. During the tests, I knew He would faithfully give me remembrance. After the tests, I knew that He would grant me rest. And no matter what happened in each test, I knew that He would still be there for me when I cried to Him in prayer.

How has God been treating me? He has been treating me with goodness, kindness, and mercy.

It was with this realization that my perspective was drastically reordered. All those problems that I had to complain about earlier seemed pretty petty all of a sudden. Really, I realized, life can’t treat me that badly, because God is that good.

As my family passed by Cinderella’s Palace, the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom Disney park, a crowd started to gather, music began to blare from the speakers, and Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, and Goofy all popped out of the castle. Little kids excitedly waved and adults knowingly smiled as the “real live” princesses and princes from the Disney movies joined Mickey on stage. In an instant, though, those kids stopped waving as, in a cloud of green mist, Maleficent, the villain from Sleeping Beauty, appeared on stage telling the crowd that she was going to take over. But the day was saved by Donald Duck who stood up to the evil queen and told her, “As long as kids still believe that dreams come true, evil like yourself will be conquered!” As Donald led the crowd in a chant “Dreams come true! Dreams come true!” Maleficent descended through a trap door in screams of agony.

It was a cute skit with good songs and talented dancers…but something bothered me about the play. To a crowd full of starry-eyed youngsters, all the advice that Mickey and Minnie had to offer the next generation was “Just believe that dreams come true!” That’s it. No promise of success, no foundation for their hope, no assurance for their future. What kind of advice was that?

But as I thought about it, I realized that Mickey and Minnie gave this advice because…they really didn’t have much else to give. When you look at the choices available to us, there are really only four options of things we can choose to trust in: God, ourselves, other people, and other things.

It doesn’t take long for any of us to learn that other people will fail us. People hurt us, insult us, lie to us, and break promises. Why? Because we live in a world that’s full of sinners. Even Christians, who have been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, will fall short of perfection…often. Because of this, people quickly learn that basing our faith on other people will ultimately fail us.

Things too, don’t satisfy. People often spend their lives jumping from fad to fad, possession to possession, addiction to addiction searching for the thing that will satisfy their need for more — the thing that will give them happiness. Why do their interests continually jump around? Because each new thing they try only leaves them with the empty awareness that it didn’t satisfy. It may have made them happy for a time, but possessions get old and break down. Addictions never satisfy, but leave the addict desiring more and more. Fads occur, then people move on to a new fad. Believing in “things” will never be a sure foundation for our lives.

Then what about ourselves? Surely if other people and other things can’t be trusted, the one thing we can be sure of is ourselves…right? I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to trust in myself for my whole life. I’m very aware of the fact that I fall short and that I control very little. I would hate to go through life beating myself up over all the bad things that happened to me, because, if I’m trusting in myself, those bad things must be my fault. I would hate to have to go into every test knowing that the result depended exclusively on how smart I was. I would hate to know that I would have to be constantly vigilant to find the job I hope to hold, because that’s all up to me to find. No, living by trusting in myself would be the most depressing, stressful, and discouraging option of all.

So…what was Disney left with to tell kids to believe in? Dreams: a vague, hopeful idea that things will happen the way we want them to. That’s all that Disney thought was left to tell the next generation. Just believe!

Donald Duck isn’t the first person in history to tell people to “just believe,” though. Those very words were spoken by another person nearly 2,000 years ago: Jesus. As Jesus came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jairus, to heal his daughter from sickness, people told him not to bother…the little girl was already dead. Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Just believe. What is the difference between Donald Duck’s advice and Jesus’ command here? The differences is that Donald Duck gave the children nothing to believe in. Believing in dreams will get you nowhere except an understanding that dreams don’t always come true. Jesus gave us an object of our faith: himself. He also gave us a reason to believe: he provides. The crowd believing that “dreams come true” may have defeated the fictional Maleficent in a Disney skit, but Jairus’ belief in Jesus defeated death in the real world: Jairus’ daughter came back to life.

So, while the world is telling us to believe in things, or people, or dreams, or ourselves, it is important to remember that there is only one steadfast foundation that can satisfy: Jesus.