There are some days that live forever in your memory. Some of them are good. Some are not so good. Yesterday I heard a parent say, “I can’t believe the kids start school in two weeks.” She had a little one. I understood completely. Her comment produced a flashback to my oldest daughter's first day of kindergarten.
Becky was nervous. So were Lori and I. Of course, I had the video recorder out to mark the experience. We were up early and went out together to wait at the bus stop. As the bus pulled away we waved goodbye. That wasn't the end of it. We hopped in the car and raced to the school to see her get off the bus.
We didn't know it then, but the next morning Becky's photograph appeared in the newspaper immortalizing the moment forever. As she tentatively descended the steps of the bus the photographer captured her nervous look. The caption read, "Students anxiously approach the start of a new year."
She was fine but moments like these provide bittersweet memories. They are scary but as people of faith we give them to God. We lean on him to carry us through. Yet, trusting God is easier when there is some excitement about the possibilities in front of you. It is a little harder when you are facing bad news.
I'll never forget the day my friend came to tell me that the doctor had found cancer. What do you say to someone who is facing the great unknown that will lead them into the battle of their life? To say "Trust God" seems shallow and insincere. To be honest, all I could do was hold him and cry with him.
That day I trusted my instincts. You know what the Bible says about moments like that. It suggests that God does the same thing I did. He wraps his arms around us and holds us tight. It says a variation of the words, "Do Not Fear! I will be with you," 365 times in the Bible. One for every day.
God wants us to know that no matter what the future holds, he will not abandon us. He will walk through those dark valleys by our side. Sometimes he will be there in the fullness of his presence. Sometimes he will send a friend like you or me to stand in the gap.
So I can say the words "Trust God!" because God is good. I can't promise that every day will bring you happy memories. I can promise that God will be with you. He will give you strength for the day. Whether you are stepping off a school bus or facing the challenge of your life, you can depend on God to be there.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.