Trusting God means acting on the knowledge that he knows what he’s talking about, even when his commands don’t make sense to me. Even before I see God’s provision. Even when provision looks impossible. Even when obedience is costly. Even if God doesn’t provide in the ways I think he should. Trusting God means being willing to get my feet wet, knowing that God’s promises will hold, and that in his own way, God’s hand will provide what is needed for the next step.
In 1998, Eva Cassidy recorded an old spiritual called “Wade in the water”. I was listening to her sing it in my car just recently:
Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
The lyrics are simple, but this water runs deep. As you’d expect from a spiritual, the reference is biblical. The rest of the song speaks of the children of Israel on the banks of the Jordan river, ready to cross into the promised land. In Joshua chapter 3, God tells the priests of Israel to carry the ark of the covenant, the symbol of his relationship with his people and presence with them, to the edge of the flooded river and stand in the water. They obeyed, and as soon as their feet got wet, God began to stop the flow of a mighty river and clear a path for his people to walk across on dry land.
Dry land—but the feet of the priests were still wet. They were wet because they had to “wade in the water” before God “troubled the water” for them. They had to obey before they saw the provision. They had to take a very literal step of faith into what was entirely impossible for them, trusting that God would keep his promise to take them across. It would have looked pretty silly for them to stand on the edge of the river if God never parted it. But he did.
The same dynamic plays out over and over again in the life of God’s people: we are often faced with situations where we must choose if we will trust God’s promises of provision, or turn away from where he is leading us in order to blaze our own path, by our own means. We like the sound of God’s promises for his children.