“Take us home, please,” we say to our tuk-tuk driver as he swerves through the Phnom Penh traffic. To me, the swarms of vehicles headed in all directions looks like constant chaos. If I were driving, I would be paralyzed with fear. However, I know that any backseat driving from me wouldn’t improve the performance of the driver, and it might distract his finely tuned instincts for navigating this bewildering choreography. As we cross another intersection, nearly colliding with oncoming traffic, all I can do is sit back and take a deep breath. To my relief, we reach our destination unscathed. Each successful ride develops my faith in the tuk-tuk driver, and now the close calls don’t make me nervous because I have faith that my driver is in control. When I trust my tuk-tuk driver, I can enjoy seeing the life of the city around me. I pull out my camera and capture beautiful moments along the journey.
About a decade ago, I asked God to give me faith. However, I did not understand how faith is developed. The Bible teaches that faith develops through trials, as gold tried in a furnace (1 Peter 1:7). Our faith in our Heavenly Father is built no differently from our faith in our tuk-tuk driver. When our lives seem chaotic, and harm comes our way, those are faith-building opportunities. I often attempt to be the backseat driver of my life, praying things like, “Lord, this is what needs to happen in my life right now.” But God longs to hear me say, “Father, take me home,” as I sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful moments along the journey.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4).