Goldfish have incredibly short memories, around three seconds. It must be wonderful for the extroverted goldfish; they get to meet new fish all the time. But it would be hard for them to have faith in anything. After all, they wouldn’t remember having any experience.
Faith is what enables our relationships to truly work. You wouldn’t have a relationship with someone if you believed they were out to hurt you. Whether it’s a business partnership, dating relationship, or friendship, you’d walk away. You need faith that these people have your best interests in mind or, at least, are not out to get you for you to be close to them.
God wants you to have faith in Him for several reasons:
1. He knows that if you aren’t looking to Him, you’ll be looking to other things in this world for fulfillment and sense of self-worth.
2. He wants to have a relationship with you and, as I said above, that requires faith in His goodness and love for you.
3. He wants you to depend on Him as a child depends on a father.
Now, most of us don’t trust God as much as we should. I’ve already addressed one of the reasons, that we mistake times of Him not giving us what we want as Him letting us down, but another reason is we have memory loss.
We’re really not that much better than goldfish, honestly. Sure, we can remember what happened years ago if it was important enough, but we seem to readily forget all those times God has been there for us.
My parents divorced when I was young and my mother has been poor ever since. We didn’t have enough to send me to the college of my choice, so I had to choose a different school. There, a combination of decisions and unlikely friendships eventually led me to Virginia, where I was working for a friend who worked at a company his childhood friend had started. I was fortunate enough to make a six-figure income by the time I was 25, but I hated my life for a number of reasons. I hated God for all that had gone wrong in my family, for making me (in my mind, at least) entirely undateable, and for my relative lack of promotions and raises compared to my colleagues.
It wasn’t until I started going to church again that I saw that God had been leading me in my decisions ever since before college to get me to that job. And I was at that job so I could save enough money to write for just long enough to move out to Colorado and find my wife, who’s been a colossal help to me. Every step I made, even ones I hated and yelled at Him for, He has led me so I could be where I am today.
Wherever you are and whatever you’ve done, He is there for you, too. He has been there for you in the past, saving you from more than you realize, and will gladly guide your steps if you let Him. He’s probably been guiding them already, even if you don’t know it.
I want you to take a few minutes and think about the times God has answered your prayers…or given you an unexpected blessing…or given you wisdom to make a tough decision…or has guided you, even when you didn’t realize it at the time. Write these things down. Whenever you’re tempted to blame God for something or lack faith in Him, pull this list out and remember just how faithful He has been.