Faith or Facts

 

I read an interesting story that took place up in Hamilton, Ontario. A group of workmen were trimming some trees, preparing land for development. On a low hanging limb, which was to be cut off, they found a bird’s nest with young birds in it. The workmen were troubled. Some of them insisted that the limb must come down, while others pleaded that it be left until their next trip, in order to give the birds time to become strong enough to fly away. After some discussion, the limb was left. Some months later, the tree trimmers came again and cut off the limb. As they studied the nest, which was now empty, they noticed a little piece of paper, which had been woven into the nest. They examined it and found it had been taken from a Sunday school paper. On it were these words, “We trust in the Lord!”

This story was fascinating to me. These workmen didn’t want to cut down a limb for fear that it would destroy the birds.  Although I am well aware of the fact that these birds didn’t intentionally take this particular piece of paper with these words on it, it is a sweet reminder of how we should trust in the Lord, the One who made Heaven and earth, even when it seems our security and comfort are being compromised.

In II Samuel chapter 24, David is tested in the area of his faith.  It appears to be a harmless decision at first, as David orders his men to go and take a head count throughout the country.  He wanted to know just what he was working with.  How much power did he have at his disposal?  We notice, however, in verse 10 just how fatal a decision this was, when David says, “I have sinned badly in what I have just done.  God, please forgive me for I have been really stupid”.  The Bible says in this verse that David replaced trust in God for statistics.  God makes it clear to us in this chapter that this is not only a stupid thing to do, but it is sin, and it is costly.  The consequences for David were that 70,000 people died throughout Israel.  God was merciful and showed compassion, but there was a definite price to be paid for David’s lack of faith.

What is it in your life today?  Are you looking at the statistics or facts of your finances, your future, or your health, at the expense of trusting in the Lord?  How easy it is to substitute our faith for the facts that are laid out before us.  God wants us to be knowledgeable; however, He does not want our faith to be in our own understanding (Prov. 3:5).  We are called to trust in that which we cannot see (Heb. 11:1).  It may seem silly to put it this way, but just like those small birds, I want to build my life and my home on the foundation of faith in Christ.  It is my prayer that when my life is over, and I am on the other side of eternity, and people sift through the remnants I am leaving behind, that they, too, will find my life clearly marked by those words, “We trust in the Lord”.

May the Lord help us today to pass the tests of faith that He will allow into our lives.  May we stay focused on Him and not on the statistics or facts around us, living our lives in such a way that others would “Taste and see that the Lord is good;” and they would say, “Blessed are those that trust in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)

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