Do you remember the meme that said, “I don’t know what will happen in [x] years. I don’t have 2020 vision,” where x was the number of years until 2020?
How right we all were: No one saw this year coming. A pandemic threw the entire world into chaos and disrupted all our plans. As Westmont struggled with the legacy of racism in our institution and in our community, despicable violence by police officers against black civilians displayed the evil of racism on a national scale.
Last night, I attended a Bible study with Scott and Jamie Lisea in the Ocean View courtyard. Sitting in a group of people and carrying on a conversation felt very strange. But through that conversation, we realized everyone there was looking for something to hold on to when the foundations of our lives seem to be crumbling. During the study, we discussed the parable of the two houses: one built on a rock and one built on sand. When a storm came, one stood firm and the other was washed away.
In a message this weekend, my pastor told a story about his kids (as all pastors do). One morning his 11-year-old son was jumping on the bed. Just as my pastor got up and started walking out of the room, his son—with no warning whatsoever—exclaimed, “Dad! Trust fall!” and fell backward off the bed. My pastor ran back across the room to catch his son before he hit the ground. Then my pastor asked us if we could do the same. Could we look at God, our loving parent, and say, “Trust fall!” and trust God to catch us?
That illustration has stuck with me all week. This semester, many of my worldly “foundations” became very shaky. A close family member died. My school routine vanished. I was separated from most of my friends and my parents due to a virus that disrupted society as I knew it. After all that, I instinctively want to hold even more tightly to the few plans and worldly supports I still have. But in the end, I know they could be taken away too.
So what choice do I have but to trust and to fall into the arms of Jesus?
That’s the only way forward. That’s the only way to get through this cloud of fear, hate, ignorance and disease that shrouds our lives right now. We can’t carry ourselves through this. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that humans are fragile and fallible, vulnerable to pain and disease and unaware of the evil in ourselves. We can’t fix anything, much less ourselves, on our own. Only Jesus can heal our hearts, minds and spirits. Only He can give us the strength to repent, to act and to change for the better.
Trust falls are scary—you can’t see where you’re going, and it certainly doesn’t feel safe.
But I promise He will catch you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself,
is the Rock eternal.