When I was around your age, there was a toy that I really wanted. It was an "action figure" and it was really cool. It had arms and legs that you could move and pose and you could even get it to look in different directions.
I imagined how much fun I could have playing with it. I will say that I never prayed that God would get it for me, but I thought really hard about having it... wishing... hoping... dreaming.
And you know what? I never did get it.
That was one time I remember when I learned that just wanting something, hoping for it, wishing you could have it wasn't enough.
I remember another time when I wanted something. This time it was a whale. Not a real whale, but a toy that looked just like one (only a lot smaller). It was all black except for the eyes and mouth and it had that great big curvy tail that whales have.
My dad said that I would get it for my birthday and, sure enough, when I opened my presents on my birthday, there was the whale.
So what's the difference between these two times?
One difference I can see is that, in the second one, I had a promise from my father. That's what made the difference. Wanting isn't enough. Hoping isn't enough. But when someone you can trust promises, you can count on it.
When you hear people using the word "faith" around here, think about these two examples. Because faith isn't just wanting something enough. It isn't even just believing something strongly enough. It's trusting that God will do what God has promised to do.
Let's pray about that.
God, help us to remember that we can trust you to do what you have promised. We know that you have promised that you'll always love us. Help us to trust you to keep that promise, even when things aren't going right, even when we're worried or scared.
And help us to let other people know that they can count on you too.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.