Lessons from the Bass Pro Shop

Anyone want to guess how many times today I asked my kids, “Do you trust me? Four. The answer is four.

In a parking lot as my four-year-old began to pull away I said to him, “It’s not safe. Do you trust me?”

Picture this. We’re wandering around Bass Pro Shop…THE ORIGINAL BASS PRO SHOP in Springfield, Missouri. I see an exhibit ahead that I KNOW they will love.

But they can’t see it from where they are. They only see the turtles in front of them. “Come see what else there is for you! You’re going to LOVE it! Do you trust me?” But they can’t see it, so they choose to stay and look at the turtles and they miss out on what’s ahead for a long while.

There are other examples I could name, but we’ll stop there.

My kids are always making me think about our Heavenly Father. I lost my Dad to cancer when I was twenty, and a friend to a horrific work accident in 2016. I’ve watched so many friends suffer miscarriages and cancer. There’s death and suffering everywhere. I used to think that the question of why there’s pain and suffering in the world was dumb. Of course there’s pain and suffering in a world where there is sin. Pain and suffering exist because of our willful disobedience to God, but then I realize that I’ve been asking the same questions. Is God good? Is He trustworthy? Sometimes I don’t think so. (Am I allowed to say that since I’m a pastor’s wife?) I choose to stay and look at the turtles when God says,

Ashley, it’s not safe. Don’t let go. I have more for you. Just trust me. Do you trust me?”

But I find myself like a two-year-old recoiling. “I do it myself.” Maybe I don’t say it out loud but that’s really the heart of my attitude. Yes there is a tremendous amount of pain in this world and yes it pains God even more than it does me. God sees more. He knows more. He feels more. He loves more. He gives more. He fills us more and more and more and I see His love overflowing like a wellspring and I know there’s a stirring in my soul that tells me that He is good. If I, a sinful person, can give good things to my kids, how much more can a perfect father give good to those He loves? Our father is rich in mercy. Our father is rich in grace and rich in love and rich in comfort.

I pray that you would feel His presence in this very moment in a way you never have before. May He cover you like a coat over your shoulders and may you feel the weight of it. May He fill you up and may you walk away from today reaching for His hand and saying, “Yes, yes I trust you. You are good.”

Because, my Friend, He is.


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