Trust and a Broken Tooth

We’ve all experienced the trust fall when we were in school. You turn your back towards someone, cross your arms, and when they say, “Ready!’ you lean back, keeping your legs straight and trust this individual will not let your head bang against the ground. And if they do let your head bounce off the ground, at least catch it on the rebound

Trust is a firm belief in someone’s ability or strength. To have visceral trust means to believe so much in someone or something that it goes beyond thoughts. To viscerally trust someone, you can feel that trust deep inside of you.

Trust is hard to come by these days. We want trust, but then a senseless act of violence thrusts us back into guarding our families and ourselves. Trust is something that we don’t just offer to anyone, unless they are some type of authority.

The three-legged race takes complete trust in another individual. In elementary school, I should have started off every introduction of myself with, “Hi! I’m Sammy and I am incredibly clumsy.” This would have given fair warning to all those around me, if I got injured in someway, they don’t need to be shocked. If an accident could happen to me, it seemed to just happen. One particular day in gym class was no exception to this rule.

We were all going to do team competitions all over the gym. The teacher began to pair us off, two by two. I watched as all of the athletic kids, or not so clumsy kids, got paired up with one another. Finally, I was paired up with someone. If I were the clumsiest in our class, this guy was a close second. Our first event was the three-legged race.

I remember like it was yesterday. The teacher tied my left knee to my partner’s right knee with a couple of bandanas. We got set to take on several other groups in our class. My partner and I talked strategy. We would move our inner legs first, that way we could get a great start to syncing this run together. When the whistle blew, we were off and moving in sync. It was something of a miracle that the two of us could move the length of the gym floor they way we did. It was as if we were meant to be tied together.

Most of the other groups struggled to get going or fell half way down the gym, we, however, seemed to glide to the other side. We became confident. We just knew we were going to win. Then came the turn. We didn’t talk about the turn in our pre-race strategy session. We tried to talk our way through it as we neared the end of the floor, but stumbled a couple of times. These weren’t huge stumbles, but they were enough for my shoelace on my right shoe to come untied and subsequently get stepped on by our inner legs.

As we made the turn and began our sprint back, my shoelace pulled my foot our from under me and we came crashing down. Being tied together, I only had one hand to catch myself with, which I was unsuccessful at doing. My face planted on the hardwood gym floor, mouth first. I watched in a daze as one of my front teeth chipped and scattered across the floor in front of me. The gym teacher rushed over to see if I was ok and sent me to the nurse. My race was over.

Eventually, I went to the dentist, they repaired my tooth and everything was back to normal. I may have been a little jaded towards being partnered with the other kid ever again because I lacked trust in him, well us, to not have another accident.

Over the past two months, we have been teaching elementary students about God’s promises. God promises to be with me, God promises to fight for me, God promises to work in my life, etc. Promises take trust that the Promise Giver will come through. None of us are strangers to broken promises. If you are, I am completely jealous of your life. Sometimes promises are blatantly broken for something better, or they are unavoidably broken because we are human and can’t do anything about the situation.

As a kid, I loved playing baseball. My mom took me to every game. I was one of the best players on my team and just wanted my dad to attend some of the time. Every time I asked, he would promise to be there, but whether unavoidable or not, my dad broke those promises, repeatedly. Broken promises from parents or grandparents hurt so much because they are the ones we trust the most.

Trust is given to two types of people, authority figures and those we get to know. Parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, policemen, just to name a few, are authorities in our lives, that because of their position garner trust immediately. Authority figures in or lives garner more trust when we get to know them. Anyone we have a relationship with, garners more trust the longer and more deeply we get to know them.

In the Bible, Hebrews 11, is known as the chapter of the heroes of faith. Faith and trust are closely related. Faith is a deeper form of trust. The chapter begins by talking about Abel, the son of Adam and Eve. It was by faith that Abel gave his tithe, by faith that Enoch trusted God and was taken to heaven. It was by faith that Noah spent years building an ark even though he had never seen rain. He trusted God was going to flood the earth, so he spent years building.

Abraham moved where God told him to and trusted God to give him a son, to which he waited until he was 99 years old for God to do the unthinkable. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was past childbearing age but believed God would fulfill His promise to her. Isaac, by faith blessed Jacob and Esau. Jacob, by faith blessed all of Joseph’s sons. By faith Moses lead Israel out of Egypt. By faith the people of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground and when they reached the land God promised them, marched around Jericho 13 times before the walls fell down.

How do we have the trust in God which everyone of the these “Heroes of the Fatih” had? What did they understand about God that gave them this confidence? How did Abraham trust God for decades before his son was born? How does anyone trust God for an incredible length of time before He fulfills His promise?

Trust in God comes like trust in anyone else. We can have ultimate trust in God, because He is our ultimate authority. He is the one authority in our lives that can’t let us down. I believe these “Heroes of Faith” understood Numbers 23:19, “God isn’t a mere human. He can’t lie. He isn’t a human being. He doesn’t change His mind. He speaks, and then He acts. He makes a promise, and then He keeps it.”

Breaking a promise isn’t something God is ever going to do. He is a promise keeper. Whatever promise He has made to you, you can trust He will come through.

We can grow our trust in God through our relationship with Him. The immanence of God means that He is closer than close. He cares about our minutest of details. If we will only draw near to God, He will draw near to us. The more time we spend in His presence, the more we get to know Him. The more time spent with God, the more we recognize His voice. Our ability to trust God is directly correlates to the time we spend with Him. And it is not about quantity of time spent, but the quality of time spent with God. So make every moment with God count.

I can trust God because of His authority and the relationship I have with Him. My ability to trust God is dependent on me spending time with Him. When I lack trust or faith, I just need to get alone with Him and hear His voice.

My trust in my teammate and myself cost me a broken tooth, and my trust in my dad showed me that people can let us down. According to Numbers 23:19, God won’t let us down…“He can’t lie…He doesn’t change His mind…He makes and promise, and then He keeps it.”

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