Have Faith in God

by Audrey on January 10th, 2013

When I was a little girl, I was afraid of many things . . .  the dark, thunderstorms, snakes and spiders, unfamiliar places. 
 
I was the kind of girl who liked to be home.   I liked stability, familiarity, routine.  I still do.
 
I remember my first day of school.  I didn’t want to go, but back then no one was educating their children at home. So I had no choice.  Mama didn’t make me ride the bus that first day; though later I would be riding with my older brother and sister. 
 
Instead, she drove me to school that day.  We got there early ~ and I was the first student in my class.  The teacher’s name was Mrs. Truluck.  She had wavy gray hair, glasses, and a nice smile. 
 
She told me which desk to sit in ~ and there I sat for what seemed like a long time.  My mother was talking to other adults in the hall and I remember gazing at her, somehow hoping she would either stay or decide to take me home.
 
But I liked Mrs. Truluck. And as I looked around the room, I noticed brightly colored letters on the walls, a huge chalkboard behind the teacher’s desk,  and I watched Mrs. Truluck as she pored over whatever she was doing at her desk.
 
She did talk to me a little; I don’t remember what she said but I do remember getting used to the desk and somehow thinking this new place would be OK.  It was becoming familiar.
 
The class began to fill up with other children.  I watched them come in.  Then I saw an adult come to Mrs. Truluck; then together they came to my desk, and then they told me that I was in the wrong class.  I was supposed to be in Mrs. Foley’s class. 
 
I felt the tears well up in my eyes but I didn’t want to cry.  So I gathered my things and followed the adults out of the room, all the while looking for my mother.
 
I saw her and she saw me.  As I think on it now, she must have seen the tears in my eyes because she quickly made her way over to me and said how sorry she was for the mix-up but that I would like Mrs. Foley.  I really would.
 
She told me that Mrs. Foley had taught her when she was in school.
 
I listened but I was afraid.
 
I still remember standing in the little foyer, in front of the cloakroom, just outside Mrs. Foley’s class.  I remember holding onto my mother’s legs, tears streaming down my face, wanting nothing more than to go home. 
 
I remember my mother and other adults telling me how much I would like my class, all the fun I would have, and my mother said, “Look!  Greg is in there.”  Greg was my cousin and we had gone to kindergarten together. 
 
It didn’t matter.  I had no choice.  I was ushered into the room with tears falling fast and furious down my face.  I watched my mother turn and walk away, waving goodbye and telling me it would be OK.
 
Mrs. Foley took me by the hand and brought me to my desk. 
 
It was the last seat on a corner row of desks.  And there I sat the entire year.
 
I did get over my fear of first grade. I grew to love Mrs. Foley and I loved learning.
 
It was also during my early years that I had a frightening, recurring dream.  I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified because I dreamed that spiders and snakes were crawling all over me. 
 
Scared and trembling, I always got up and ran to my parents’ room.
 
There were no spiders and snakes in their room. Their room was safe, protected, secure.   When I appeared on my mother’s side of the bed, she would say, “Audrey? Are you afraid?  Don’t be afraid.”  And then she would pull me next to her and whisper, “You’re safe, don’t wiggle.”
 
I wasn’t going to wiggle. I didn’t want to have to go back to my bed where the spiders and snakes lived.
 
Being with my parents delivered me from my fears.  Hearing my mother’s reassuring voice, her arms wrapped around me, and hearing my dad breathing on the other side of the bed, knowing he was right there comforted me.
 
It was a glimpse of the protective care of the Lord, I’ve come to understand as I have studied His Word.
 
I had other fears.  I was terribly afraid of thunderstorms.  I remember one storm in particular when the thunder popped, the lights flashed off, and I ran to my dad’s room. 
 
He was studying up on his bed – but he obviously heard me, he didn’t even look up – he just simply said, “Come on in.”  I did.  And I was secure. My dad was there.
 
Something about my dad just being there made everything OK.  He was strong – like a tower – I ran there and I was safe.  The storm was still raging outside but I felt safe because I was with my dad.
 
One night, however, my dad taught me to trust Someone other than him or my mom or the secure things around me.  I don’t think it was his intention.  Yet he taught me a lesson that I still carry with me to this day.
 
It was one of those really dark nights out in the country.   There were no street lights and  the sky was so dark.  And it happened to be a night when my dad needed something out in the barn that was just beyond the pasture behind our house. 
 
So he handed a flashlight to my sister and me and sent us out.
 
He told us to go out into the dark night with just a flashlight.  I was frightened.
 
As children, it wasn’t our habit to question my dad.  If he told us to do something, we just did it.  I thought my dad knew everything and I thought he was great.
 
Well, I still remember our walking out of the back porch with the screen door slamming behind us.   The light from the porch wasn’t very bright and it certainly wasn’t going to guide us all the way to the barn. 
 
But we began our journey.  
 
After a few sluggish steps, I whispered to my sister, “Are you scared?”
 
“No,” she whispered back as she held on tightly to my hand.
 
She was older so she held the flashlight
 
There we were out in the darkness – alone and quiet, hearing all kinds of noises which I would later learn were just the pine trees swaying against each other in the night air.  But to me they sounded like ghosts and boogie-men. 
 
After a few more scared steps, I just blurted out, “Hope, let’s sing.” 
 
“Sing?”  She questioned, “Out here, in the dark?”

”Yes,” I said a little louder, “Let’s sing.”
 
The pine trees continued to sway, the light on the ground danced, and the sky was as black as ink but as we trudged on towards the barn we began to sing - softly and meekly,
 
“Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely, He sees and knows all the way you have trod; Never alone are the least of His children, Have faith in God. Have faith in God.”
 
And then we got louder on the chorus:  “Have faith in God, He’s on His throne; Have faith in God, He watches o’er His own.  He cannot fail, He must prevail; Have faith in God, Have faith in God”
 
We sang all the verses and before long our focus wasn’t on the dark night or the bad guys or the noises – our focus was on God.  And we made it back home with whatever it was my dad sent us to get.
 
I don’t remember what.  What I do remember, however, is that God seemed to reach down out of heaven to hold my hand.  He etched in my memory He tender care, through a hymn, of a scared little girl on a dark night. 
 
God has used the memory of that night many times in my life.  Though I don’t know how much Scripture I knew at that time – God took what I did know and brought it to my mind.
 
“Have faith in God” were words Jesus spoke to Peter and the disciples in Mark 11:22.
 
God is so very faithful.  He takes the little truth you do know and He multiplies it.
 
“He sees and knows all the way you have trod.”
 
That’s truth from Psalm 139
 
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
 If I take the wings of the dawn,  If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me,  And Your right hand will lay hold of me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.


“Never alone are the least of His children,” the hymn-writer wrote.

That’s from Hebrews 13:
He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What shall man do to me?”

The writer to the Hebrews was quoting from Deuteronomy – the time when Moses was passing the leadership of God’s people to Joshua. 
 
Deuteronomy is a book of sermons given by Moses just before God’s people entered the Promised Land.  In the first part of the book, Moses recounted Israel’s history – reminding them of their unbelief, their fear, their wanderings in the wilderness, and how they should have trusted God.

He spoke stern, yet reassuring words to them.  Moses didn’t get to go with them to the Promised Land because of his sin even though he pleaded with God to let him go. 
But God said no to Moses.

Moses then told the people that  Joshua would be their new leader – then he urged them to obey God.

He told them:  “give heed to yourself,  keep your soul diligently, he urged them and don’t forget the things God has done for you.”
 
God used Moses to give the people His Word – and God shared with Moses how He felt about His people and His Word. God said:

'Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!'

He knew, however, that they would disobey. He knew that for them to obey –they had to have a heart for His Word. 

So He commanded Moses in Deuteronomy 6 to further instruct the people that obedience brings blessing and that obedience to God flows from a heart that loves God.

The rest of the book is devoted to God’s warnings to the people and God’s promises to His people. He talks about the rewards of obedience and results of disobedience.  He gives God’s laws and finally he gives his very last sermon – some of Moses’ last words to the people before they crossed the Jordan to the promised land were these:

 “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’
It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken.
 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”  Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.
 “And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.”


And after Moses died – God echoed the same truth to Joshua. 

The same God who was faithful to Moses, to the children of Israel and to Joshua – was faithful to a little girl on a dark night.

He is still faithful to me today as a wife of 32 years, as a mother of 5 grown children, as a mother-in-law of 3, and as a grandmother of 8.
 
I’ve sung that hymn to my children.  I’ve sung that hymn to my grandchildren.  And every time I sing it or hear it, I think about that dark night and I am reminded that God
is the One who will never leave me nor forsake me.  Not ever.  No matter what.
 
And He will never leave nor forsake you.  Have faith in God. 


Posted in Biblical Womanhood, Ministry, Mothering    Tagged with no tags


1 Comments

Jennifer - March 11th, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I think this is the third time I've read this and every time it reminds me to let go of my fears and have faith. Sometimes it seems so hard to just trust Him and let go of what we feel but it's so rewarding. This post helps remind me of that. So thanks for writing!

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