BIG HARE, BIG FAITH: No matter the trial, don't be shaken

Caroline Hare
Caroline Hare

The last week of school in my sixth grade year, I remember the excitement and great expectation that came with the end of the school year and beginning of summer. That day we would have our final exams, get our yearbooks, and of course have a liberal amount of time at lunch and recess to let people sign them.

That morning, I had taken my time to dress for success. Test taking was a particular part of school that would get my stomach in knots. Test taking was not my strong point. I thought that maybe if I dressed like I had it “all together” then maybe I just might actually have it “all together.” That day I showed up to school in my favorite dress accompanied by new shoes, and I had carefully fixed my hair where it was straight and flipped under, mind you straighteners weren’t “a thing” back then.

There was one small detail I had forgotten about that particular day. My school was building a new cafeteria, so we had lunch outside, and it was cicada season. If you are unfamiliar with cicadas, they are flying insects that emerge from the ground every 13 or 17 years. This May was one of those special years that the cicadas had come out of hiding.

As all of us girls were circled up on the grass near a long row of trees, a flock of sixth grade boys decided to come ambush the trees and shake all of their limbs causing cicadas to screech and fly around, having a mass exodus from the trees. I think that is the closest I have ever felt to the Egyptians during the plagues. It was horrible. All of the girls grabbed their lunches and ran around in circles screaming so that the giant, red beady eyed, screeching insects didn’t get in our hair.

By the time lunch was over that particular day, I was exhausted. My mom pulled up in the car line at the end of the day, and she asked how my day was. I couldn’t really remember how I did on my exams or who all had signed my yearbook. What I did know was that my hair was a complete mess. It had gone frizzy between the Tennessee Valley humidity and running away from cicadas. My hair looked as defeated as I felt.

Call me vain or just call me honest, but my hair tells you exactly how I am feeling about life. Ironically, my last name is Hare. God does have a sense of humor.

We all can tell when someone is having a rough day. Their hair is usually a mess or under a ball cap. When major life events happen and people feel out of control, they end up controlling what they can control. Sometimes that results in a major hair change. Just about every big shift in my life came right around the time of a major hair change. People agonize over their hair because it isn’t something we can hide easily.

Proverbs 16:31 states, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life” NLT. I’m not saying that we should dye our hair gray to prove that we are godly. However, this verse does prove that hair shows exactly what we’ve been through in life. We put it on and wear it like a jacket sometimes.

With life, we encounter chaos, turmoil, and sometimes even situations that appear loud and large, much like those cicadas. In reality, our God is so much bigger than any one of those situations. Our faith must be bigger than our fear.

Let the words of Psalm 118:6 be your prayer today, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” NLT.

If you take a stroll through Hebrews 11 you will see over and over again the words “By Faith” followed by a name and story of someone having big faith and then the way that God showed up and showed off on their behalf. My desire is that it does not matter what kind of trial comes my way, my hair is not shaken and neither is my faith.

Every day won’t be big, but every single day God is BIG!

I plan on sharing with you about God, youth ministry, and, quite possibly, even my hair.

Caroline Hare is the youth minister at Destin United Methodist Church.