- Sonya Leigh Anderson
I Trust Him—For You
Updated: Jun 30, 2021
Is God good and can we trust Him?
Day one, we asked this question, revisiting it every day after. Last week, youth camp, and I was the teacher-speaker for a-couple-hundred kids, twice a day speaking at chapels. “It's best to give an honest answer. Do you believe God is good? Can you really trust Him?” This is the Bible’s question.
We started at the beginning. Six days God created. Seven times, God saw it was good. Order from chaos, light from darkness, water from water. Lights to rule, creatures inhabit, trees and plants and food. And then, His humans. Of all His creation, bearing His image, showing the world what God is like.
We talked, too, of the lying snake. The evil creature, lurking among the trees of the garden, asking his questions. Words that are slippery. And confusing. “Did God really say…? If you eat from that tree, you can be like him…”
Time out. Stop and remember what God already said!!
Through the two trees, God was asking His questions. “What do you see as you look at my garden? Am I good? Do you trust me?” Thus the story begins…
Day two. The Bible tells a story from beginning to end, and God is the hero.
God, the hero who LOVES. I start with a story from my own days at camp. Several decades ago and I still remember. This story of a dad and his son. Love, unexpected, with such a punchline, I can hear boys in the crowd, gasping “What?!”
Yes, what! His love is like that. Shocking. Overwhelming. Breathtaking love. It’s the love of the prodigal son.
Day three is Jesus. Of course, He’s been in the story from the very beginning. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Through him all things were made… (John 1). God in Flesh. Jesus, came to save the story.
“The Bible says He defeated sin, Satan, and death itself. Jesus came back to life, the ultimate hero. No one, ever, could have done what Jesus did.”
But there’s more, and I tell them…
“Often, when we think about the kingdom of heaven, we think of a place up there where we’ll go when we die… But when Jesus talked about his kingdom, he talked about heaven coming down to earth.”
Two hula-hoops to demonstrate. This hoop is earth. And this hoop is heaven. Jesus came to do this. He brings a bit of His heaven into our earth. And He calls it His Kingdom.
“Do you believe in Jesus’ very good kingdom? Do you trust Jesus’ gift of eternal life?”
Imagine this. You are back in God’s good garden. Only this isn’t the original garden. It’s a someday garden in a dazzling city. It’s the most wonderful place you’ve ever been. For a minute you wonder if it’s a dream you’ll wake up from, and then you remember. This is your new forever! You look around and you realize—This is the life you were meant to live!
And in the meantime? Here in this life, in this place we call earth? We get to be the people of Jesus, giving this earth a glimpse of His heaven, showing the world what God is like.
Day Five. A morning chapel. Bags are packed, campers back on the road before noon. One more time I will ask the question.
“Life is hard. Some of you suffer. You’re still not sure, and that’s okay. Because God is patient, and He’s willing to wait until you’re honestly ready…
But here is something I read, just this morning. As I sat by the lake, and I thought about you…”
Off script, I read it. Not the words I’d prepared beforehand, but prepared instead by the Holy Spirit. A Psalm of lament, a song of suffering. Listen to David. Even in this, he knew the question; and he knew how he’d answer…
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I TRUST in your unfailing LOVE; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been GOOD to me.
Chapels are over, I load my car, and I drive away. Praying still, and remembering stories.
A boy on the hill, who’s eager to tell me, “Last night I said YES to Jesus’ invitation.”
A girl at breakfast, “I became a Christian!”
Another young lady with plans to be baptized, here at the lake before going back home.
And others, too. A girl who writes songs, lovely but broken. Like David, the psalmist, she cries her lament.
“Oh God, I beg you, protect her and keep her.”
Because I know God is good and I trust Him—for you.