Though my mother held no college degree, she was an amazing teacher. At a very young age, her ability at the sewing machine completely captivated me. So little by little, she began instructing me in the craft of sewing. As genetics would have it, Mom and I were both sticklers for detail, so we were a good match as teacher and student.
I learned to pay attention to every notch and marking and to follow the pattern guide precisely. Most important was the preparation and layout of the patterns in order to have the best possible foundation for my creation. In addition to that, pin, pin, pin, and pin some more in order to hold my project together until permanently stitched.
The greatest thing she did as teacher was demonstrate her confidence and belief in me. She would make sure I had everything going in the right direction, and before walking away, she would always add, “I know you can do this!” She did not stay and hover over me but instead went back to the work in which she previously had been engaged.
I remember at times being somewhat fearful at her leaving, but I also remember feeling empowered. I truly believed that if she trusted me enough to leave the room, she must also truly believe I could handle the challenge. My mother did well in teaching me the powerful principles of trust and obedience. She trusted me with all her sewing tools and machines, as well as my ability to follow the guides as she taught.
Likewise, I fully trusted her knowledge and understanding of what she taught, and I closely followed all her instructions, knowing that I could still call on her at any moment. Scripture also teaches us of the powerful principles of trust and obedience, along with the peace that accompanies the faithful and obedient heart.
Additionally, it teaches that God will not allow anything to come into our lives that we are not capable of withstanding.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also provide a way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13)
Just as one can be tempted to sin, one can also be tempted to doubt God’s sovereignty. When I became gravely ill, there were times when at first I questioned whether I was able to handle such an enormous challenge. I also remember specifically the day God reminded me of what my mother had taught me as a young seamstress, and something clicked in my head.
Immediately I became empowered and, oddly enough, rather excited when I stopped to realize that God must trust me completely to allow me to bear such a difficult burden. Thankfully, I had spent several years in “faith training” in the word of God, so I had an excellent foundation in place and was fully prepared with all the directions and instructions I could possibly need. In addition, I learned to pray, pray, pray, and pray some more, as prayer was a necessity in holding it all together in those days. I simply trusted and obeyed.
Often our doubt is a sign of our own spiritual immaturity and lack of faith. Conquering doubt demands a growing, obedient relationship with God. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)
Trusting the wisdom of my mother enabled me to easily accept every level of her training, eventually strengthening my level of confidence, along with increased skill. Likewise, our trust in God strengthens and increases our level of faith and ability. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Prov. 3:5)
Doubt is destructive. God knows this and wants us to know it too. “The Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!" (Ps. 84:11-12)
Holy God, like a shepherd, You lead me to green pastures and quiet waters and restore my soul. You walked with me through my valley of the shadow of death and comforted me in my sorrow. You prepared me with Your promises in the presence of bad news and anointed me with Your healing oil. My cup surely overflows from Your goodness and kindness, and I will tell of Your wonders all the days of my life. Amen.