One of my daughter's favorite games is when I toss her in the air or pretend to drop her and catch her at the last moment. It makes her laugh like nothing else can! It hit me the other night as I was tossing her and catching her that this really ought to be a terrifying experience for her. I know I definitely wouldn't want to be flung through the air or feel like I was falling uncontrollably. Why is it that what would be such a terrifying experience for me can be such a hilarious game for her? I think the answer is fairly simple: she trusts me. Even though she doesn't understand much about the world yet (she's a little over a year and a half old), she knows that I love her and that I am strong enough to keep her from getting hurt.
I thought that night, too, about how much differently I see my Heavenly Father from how my daughter sees me.
There are certainly times when my life seems to experience the kind of chaos and turmoil that just might be the emotional, psychological, or spiritual equivalent of falling uncontrollably or flying through the air. Yet, I react very differently to these sensations than my daughter does. Now, I don't think Christians should ever laugh and squeal with joy during difficulties (I don't think we can pay the rent this month! Wheeeeee! A loved one is very sick, maybe beyond recovery! Yahooooooo!), but the way that we do react to difficult times shows a lot about how we much we trust our Father.
I used to think that trials and tribulations were mostly about showing me how much I had matured, how far I still had to go, etc. Personally, though, the greatest revelations that come to me during those free-falling, fast-flying moments in life are not about how I see myself, but about how I see God. You see, my daughter trusts that I will be good and loving and strong towards her. I don't always believe those things about God, at least not as I should. Otherwise, when difficulties come, I would react differently.
Again, I'm not saying you have to get excited when life is out of control. I don't think Christians should seek out suffering or difficulties. More than enough will come during the course of our discipleship. What I am saying is this: when my daughter is flying through the air, she shows no fear. She has complete trust in the one who tossed her into the air in the first place, and who has never failed to catch her. Similarly, let us ask God to show us more of Himself—His goodness, His love, His strength—so that we do not fear when He allows us to get tossed about by life. For we know He will most certainly catch us.