I have a new swing in my back yard. It’s a wonderful swing, even if it is put together wrong. I should explain. You see, we bought this swing last summer when it was on sale. I had been telling Gary how much I wanted a swing for a long time. (I wasn’t nagging, honest! I just made sure he knew I really wanted one someday) Anyway, we found this swing at a price too good to pass up while we were camping down in Ohio. We hauled it home to Michigan, and then it sat down in the basement in its box all winter long. (Gary had warned me that we wouldn’t be putting it together until we moved because it would be easier to move in its box) We got to Chandler, Minnesota at the end of May and I figured it would take a while before we could get the swing set up – getting settled and all. Well, Gary surprised me one day when he announced that he would set up my swing! He asked if I wanted to help, so I went outside with him and started taking parts out of the box. He looked at the directions and started putting pieces together. Erin was helping by this time, too. She would retrieve the next piece he needed, or held something while Gary screwed it together.
We got to the point where he had to put some canvas over some pieces that formed the back of the swing. I was looking at the directions, too, and I disagreed with the way he planned to put the canvas on. He assured me that he was doing it right, and I repeated that I thought it was supposed to go the other way. We went back and forth like this for a couple of minutes, and then he laughingly asked, “Will you just trust me?” I kept studying the directions and looking at the canvas – just sure that I was right. Finally I whimpered, “I just can’t do this” and I headed for the house. Through my tears, I was half laughing, too, because I knew I was being silly, but I just couldn’t stay outside and watch him put it together wrong.
I puttered around inside, getting some housework done, but I was kind of waiting for him to come to the back door and call, “Honey, you were right – I had it on backwards!” He never did come and admit his mistake…so I finally went back outside after a while. Gary and Erin were just finishing up, and it looked pretty good. He invited me to sit down and swing, and I did. I had to admit it worked fine, but I still had doubts about that canvas! My very astute husband could read my mind, and he laughed and said, “You still don’t trust me, do you?” I can’t remember exactly how the afternoon ended. I think I finally pushed my doubts aside and just thanked him for putting it together.
That situation got me thinking, though. First of all, I realized that I probably did have some trust issues with Gary. I couldn’t just cheerfully let him put it together, I had to doubt his method and insist that his way was wrong. If I sit and think about it, I can come up with other areas of life where I don’t trust his judgment and think my way is better.
The thing that really kept coming back to my mind was how often I treat God the same way. I go through life trying to do the right things, living carefully, following the “directions” and sometimes God shows me a different way to do things. Somehow, I can’t quite accept His way without doubting it. I can just imagine God chuckling as He urges, “Will you just trust me?” Sometimes I do trust Him, but often I whimper, “I just can’t do this!” and I go off into a corner somewhere and cry. I’m too sure that my way is right, and His way just won’t work at all. Why can’t I remember how faithful and trustworthy He has been in the past? He would never steer me wrong, never do something that would harm me.
Something else bothered me about my lack of trust in Gary that day. When I went back outside, Erin kept joking about how “untrusting” I was (because she had no doubt that her dad was putting it together right). I realized that my kids see how much trust I have in my husband, and they also see how much trust I have in God. If I refuse to trust God in every situation of my life, then they are going to have problems trusting Him in the future as well. They may keep trying to take matters into their own hands instead of having faith in God. How important it is for me to develop complete trust in my Savior – not just for my own good, but for the good of my children, as well!
Back to my swing…I love it! Since Gary put it up, I have gone outside to sit in it for a little while almost every day. It’s comfortable and I feel so peaceful as I sit and stare at the sky and the trees. Birds, squirrels, and rabbits pass through our yard as I rock slowly back and forth. To my left I can watch a windmill high on the ridge, turning in the breeze.
Sometimes I still want to dig out the instructions and see if I can figure out which way that canvas is really supposed to go on the frame, but so far I have resisted that urge. I sit and swing, and think about the trust I need to develop in my husband. I soak in the beauty around me and I ponder the trust I need to have in the God who loves me. I will keep practicing until I can always answer yes when He asks, “Will you trust me?”
© Robyn Mulder 2004, therobynsnest.org