by Talasi, DTS student
At the creek outside the training centre, there is a big rock that sticks out from the water—big enough that you can sit on without getting wet—a foot or so away from the shore. Delightfully, there are a few smaller rocks above the surface of the water leading to this big one, so you can successfully reach it without touching water.
I have now visited the creek three days in a row. My first visit was Sunday evening. It was dark out, so I could see very little. I could only hear the sound of rushing water. The big sitting rock is in line with a little “waterfall”, of sorts, where the water falls maybe eight inches over some rocks. So it makes a substantial noise. It is not an overwhelming noise, like a big waterfall, but steady and strong. I could hear this rushing on Sunday night, but couldn’t see it. It was an unnerving feeling. I could see the outline of the big rock, and thought… it would be neat to sit down there. But didn’t have the courage to venture out there in the dark. I mean, it was dark… and who knows, maybe that wasn’t a rock after all.
I visited again yesterday. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and warm. This time I could see the unknown. I looked under the bridge, as I had been afraid to do the previous evening. I even ventured out to the big rock. I sat there for a few moments, but the sound of the rushing water around me was still unnerving; even in the daylight. Water does that to me. Not pool water, or bathtub water… but lake water, river water, ocean water. Water where you can’t see what’s beneath the surface. Water that makes noise. Water that moves with power. It freaks me out… like at any moment it could engulf all of my being. So I didn’t sit out there for long; I was just a bit too uncomfortable. Instead, I explored along the bank of the creek and enjoyed many other delightful pieces of God’s creation.
Today I returned. But this time, I didn’t feel so uneasy out on that rock. I sat out there talking to God for a good twenty minutes, and if I’d had more time before I had to leave, I would have sat there longer. It didn’t really make me nervous today; at least, not enough to make me head back to the safety of shore. In fact, it totally delighted me. And out there on the rock, I had a very real conversation with God.
My purpose in writing was to document the conversation I had with God out there today, but for some reason I felt the need to write, first, about the process of coming to “trust” the rock. I didn’t see it in the beginning, but now I do! What a remarkable parallel! God wrote this story for me to help me see what the process of learning to trust Him looks like.
In the early stages, it is as though His outline is visible, and his voice audible, but you really don’t know what you see or hear. Maybe it’s because He hasn’t revealed Himself in a way you can understand yet, or maybe it’s because you are afraid to take a closer look. But in either case, there is uncertainty. You know He is powerful, but you don’t know if He is safe. You know you see something that you think is Him, but you don’t know for certain. You’ve never seen Him clearly, you’ve never felt Him, you’ve never placed yourself smack in the middle of His power—and certainly not in the times of darkness! Why, that would be too scary… after all what if you can’t trust Him?
But as you keep coming back to God, and do some exploring, you learn that His power is not just rushing and strong, but also gentle and tender; constant and unchanging. You learn that you can venture into His arms for moments of rest… and even though you aren’t completely willing to trust yet, you know that you can get there safely. And as you continue to visit Him, to sit with Him, to experience the many facets of His character and get to know them, your uncertainties begin to fade.
And finally, you come to a place where you can simply trust. Where you could sit with Him all day on the rock and never have a single unnerving thought. Where, in fact, you could venture out to the rock in the dark of night, and not for a moment question it’s strength, it’s safety, it’s consistency. His sovereignty.
It is not a switch you can flick—trust on, trust off. Instead it is a practice… one which takes time to perfect. But I do believe it can be perfected, and I so desire this perfect trust. So I’m just going to keep coming back to God. Trusting Him for things, big and small. I do believe that He will continue to show me His trustworthy character. I do believe that He loves hanging out with me and speaking to me. I do believe He is delighted at the idea of having a more intimate relationship with me! And I do believe that He simply can’t wait until the time I trust Him enough to be completely at rest in Him, even in the very darkest, scariest moments of life. And I can’t wait either!