I sometimes wonder if many of us actually trust God. Let's face it, His track record isn't great--He allowed His own son to die--something few of us would allow had we any ability to prevent it. What then does one make of such a God? Is He reliable? Can we be certain of what we are getting from Him?

The answer is, of course, yes. However, we more often than not do not act as though we can or do trust Him. We act on the principle that we know better how to arrange and organize things for the benefit of all. That, of course, is out of fear--fear of the loss of control, fear of the unknown, sometimes fear of God Himself. We are told the "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Of course, it may also be the font of enormous foolishness as well. Fear of the Lord can lead us to do all manner of idiotic things.

The problem is this--from the time we were children many forces in society and personal experiences have taught us time and again to trust no one. I truly believe that a principle espoused in the Bible works here as well--"If you do not love those around you whom you can see, how can you hope to love an invisible God?" So too with trust. If you cannot trust what you do see, how do you being to trust what is invisible and largely unknowable--shrouded in mystery after mystery, glimpsed dimly but poorly understood?

The answer is that despite potential vulnerability, you begin to trust what you do see. We may make mistakes in where we place our trust. We may put our trust in a good place, but all human and created things are fallible, and they will eventually fail us. However, we cannot begin to understand and practice trust without taking this step. We may say that we trust God, but look at all the bulwarks and supports we put in place in case God does not come through. The Saints of the past had unending trust in His Wisdom--we need to cultivate the same. Whatever happens to us is at least allowed by Him for some good that we may not completely know. We trust surgeons to cut into us and remove bits and pieces or alter us in some way--knowing that we may suffer pain as a result. Some of the pain we feel we bring upon ourselves, and some is the pain of the surgery that will ultimately restore health.

Trust is difficult, but it is essential. You do not speak from the fullness of your heart to someone you do not trust. If we do not trust God, how then can we hope to pray effectively.

Perhaps the most difficult part of trust is discerning where it is we do not trust God. To which questions do we demand firm and absolute answers? What things do we refuse to leave alone, do we continue to worry? We need to look deeply into ourselves and recognize our deep lack of trust and pray with the man of the gospels, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief."

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 18, 2003 8:22 AM.

Reflections on Silence was the previous entry in this blog.

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