We were simply working on a piano lesson. I didn’t anticipate crumbling her perspective on life, the world, and the ability to “know” truth.
But that’s what happened.
As a young music student, I learned the same lesson in music theory: a B sharp is the same exact note as a C on the piano.
Now, this was cool to me. I thought I was “in the know” and had some incredible, deep music knowledge that only the truly initiated can possess. It was a sort of all-access pass to conversations with musicians who actually knew far more than I ever will.
That’s not what this felt like for my daughter.
I told her, “See that’s a B sharp, so you actually just play this C. See it’s the same thing. See how cool that is?”
She did not see.
She accused me of rocking her world. Everything she ever thought about life and existence could all be on shaky ground where B’s are really C’s and how are you ever supposed to know what’s really true?
Her whole reaction was shockingly unexpected, but I consider. I ponder what’s at stake.
Life can feel just that shaky at times. There are things we take for granted, foundations we’ve been sure are rock-solid.
There are expectations we just know will be met. There are promises we feel sure God will fulfill in a certain way.
Then something goes awry.
We can ride this intense roller coaster of emotions: “Everything is great! Everything is falling apart! Today I definitely see everything working out! Today everything is in despair!”
What can we truly know?
When life can shock you like that, when a moment that should be certain victory becomes defeat instead, when you trusted in God but got hurt anyway….when you look at the music and see a B sharp but you play a C….then what do we do?
Shakiness like that, doubts like that, disappointment like that may seem like they’re signs of weak faith.
We tell ourselves, “Pretend to have it all together. Don’t admit that you’re struggling with doubt. Don’t tell anyone you’re feeling defeated.”
But here’s what I wrote in Anywhere Faith about doubting:
“God is gracious. He knows exactly what’s in our heart in our weakest moments. He loves us and calls us anyway, not because we are worthy, but because He is worthy; not because we are able, but because He is able.
We need not exert ourselves and try to force ourselves to believe, or try to chase doubt out of our hearts. Both are just as useless. It begins to dawn on us that we can bring everything to Jesus, no matter how difficult it is; and we need not be frightened away by our doubts or our weak faith, but only tell Jesus how weak our faith is (O. Hallesby).
We can bring our doubts to Jesus. We don’t have to pretend they don’t exist or hide them away in embarrassment and shame. Instead, we can pour those doubts right out at His feet and choose to trust Him. Trust Him to answer prayer. Trust Him to do what He promises to do. Trust Him even with our doubts (#AnywhereFaith).
Not trust in circumstances.
Not trust in others.
Not trust in ourselves.
Not trust in our own expectations or plans.
Not trust in what we think God will do.
But trust Him. Trust His character. Trust His love for us.
Jeremiah the prophet wrote:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream;
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
Before these verses, he tells the people “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength….” (verse 5).
In other words, don’t trust in other people. Don’t trust in human strength.
After these verses, he says, “The heart is deceitful above all things…” (verse 9).
In other words, don’t trust your own heart and emotions.
But in the moments when nothing seems to make sense and when circumstances seem impossible, we can go back to the thing we know we know that we know.
We trust in the Lord.
We sink our roots deep down in Him and we allow Him to make us fruitful and strong despite heat and drought and the crazy world where B sharps are really C naturals.