I was so grateful when I came across Psalm 37:3. In the translation called the English Standard Version (ESV) it says, “Trust in the Lord, and do good: dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”
I was in the midst of a parenting situation and was in over my head again and realized God was asking me a question. “Will you trust Me and will you befriend faithfulness?” There are so many times when I am parenting that I have to trust God to do what only his Spirit can do and remain simply and purely faithful to his truth. Trust is a larger-than-life weakness with me. It is my daily crisis of belief — will I believe Jesus, will I trust Jesus, will I obey Jesus? I began to think what in the world does it look like to befriendfaithfulness. Maybe it means to embrace doing the same thing over and over without necessarily seeing the desired result (this could be the perfect description of much of my parenting experience!). Or befriending faithfulness could be simply synonymous with consistency without visual progress. But then I got to thinking, I realized that most progress is so slow it is undetectable to the human eye and only measurable at the times we are most squeezed. I believe I was given a very simple yet sweet glimpse of what befriending faithfulness looks like.
When my kids were small, one of our favorite movies was Balto, about the legendary sled dog that helped bring antitoxin nearly 700 miles from Nanana to Nome Alaska during a Dyptheria outbreak. On a family vacation to New York City we visited the statue of Balto in Central Park. On the statue it had three words that were focal points. They were endurance, fidelity, and intelligence. I stood there and thought how that sums up parenting. Hang in there even when the end isn’t in sight (endurance), be faithful despite distractions and temptations to be otherwise (fidelity ), and use your brain to think and plan and pray and ask God for His wisdom (intelligence).
One of the lines from the movie our family still remembers was made by Balto’s friend, a goose named Boris. He said about Balto, “He never sees what he is, only what he is not”. I am hard pressed to say that often my evaluation of my parenting is a lot like Balto. I see my shortcomings and not my strengths. Yet my strengths come from God and in my weakness He is strong. Even in my poor self-evaluation Jesus’ faithfulness shines through.
Befriending faithfulness is as simple as befriending Jesus. He is the epitomy of faithfulness. Befriending faithfulness is to walk by faith and not by sight. Befriending faithfulness is doing the next thing and praising God for His faithfulness. How will you befriend faithfulness today? In what situation will you say today, “You, Jesus, are faithful, and I will trust and embrace your faithfulness today.”