Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
When I was a kid, my favorite TV commercials were the ones for NESTEA instant tea. Most of the commercials featured a parched actor who sipped on a refreshing glass of tea. As the sip quenched the thirst, the actor would start to fall backwards. A pool would appear out of nowhere and the actor would splash into the water, flat on his or her back and still clutching the glass of instant tea. The tagline for the commercials was “Take the NESTEA plunge!”
As kids we thought this “plunge” was hysterical. We had a pool, so there were many attempts by my brother and sister and me to copy these commercials in our own backyard. Wisely our parents nixed our desires to actually carry a full glass of tea with us.
I was never very good at taking the NESTEA plunge. The commercials made it look easy - you just lay backwards and fall - not a lot of style to it. But I could never just do it. I would usually start to worry at the last moment and jerk myself so that I’d land hard on my bottom instead.
But my dad - he was the king of the NESTEA plunge. He could fall straight back from the diving board or the side of the pool and just lay flat out and it never looked like it hurt. I was always in awe of his performances and the fact that he just went for it. He was confident and sure and trusted that he’d splash down just fine. To be honest, I felt a little ashamed that I didn’t have that same amount of trust in my own abilities or in gravity and fluid dynamics.
Plunging into new things always requires a level of trust. When you or your parents chose baptism for you, it demonstrated trust in God’s promise of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Baptism provides you with a new identity in Christ; a covenant between you and God begins. It starts with putting our whole trust in God and His love for us despite being sinners. How amazing is it that we can put our trust in Him even though we are clearly imperfect? I am sometimes overwhelmed by the enormity of the love God has for me despite all my flaws and how much I mess up.
Yet, as humans, we sometimes find it hard to trust. We have relationships with one another that don’t end well. Or we feel that we can no longer rely on people we have trusted as a result of something they’ve done. We even go so far to believe that we can’t fully trust God. We can experience fear or concern that maybe, just maybe, this isn’t really as easy as it sounds. We believe He forgives sins, but maybe we don’t quite accept that He forgives OUR sins. Or we say that we trust His love and power, but we carry on in our lives as if we are the ones in control instead of God. We struggle with our own burdens and staunchly refuse to let God shoulder some of the weight.
How wonderful it would be if we constantly kept our trust in God at the center of all we do and how we live each day. Can you live out Proverbs 3:5 - pushing your own understanding aside to rely entirely on Jesus? How often do you look up to recognize that you have clung to your own understanding instead of Him? It’s so tempting to go it alone, yet plunging in our Savior’s promises is much easier.
This week we are continuing our series One Faithful Promise. The message will be focused on claiming our covenant with God. I can’t wait to share with you how we can commit ourselves to pouring all of our trust in God.
See you in church!