The Simple Economy of Trust


Another cause for joy in our lives is the simple economy of trust. That's a fancy way of saying that Jesus Christ is either trustworthy or He is not. There is no middle ground. If Jesus is worthy of trust, then He is worthy of trust in every matter and with everything I have and I am. If He is not worthy of trust, then He is not worth the time I spend in prayer--no matter how little it is.

Sometimes, it seems, I like to play both sides of the street. I work as though everything depended upon my effort and I pray as though everything depended upon my effort. A short way of saying that is that I trust God so long as what He does is within my control. When that fails, so too does trust.

But the marvelous reality, the absolute guarentee stems from who God is and how God is constituted. It's amazing how many things depend upon one essential understanding of God articulated some 800 years ago. This understanding is both counterintuitive and amazingly clear and completely consistent. Moreover, it is one that I speak and hold to with only the smallest impression of the fullness of meaning. I speak, of course, of the simplicity of God. St. Thomas Aquinas taught it as foundational in His great work. It is one of the first matters that he articulates in detail and I do him an injustice even reiterating his thought because I cannot claim to understand it. But boiled down for me, it comes to--God is simple. That is God is comprised of a single, pure essence that is utter immiscible nothing that has any trace of not-God may combine with this essence. We know this--God cannot tolerate sin both for its offense and because what God is does not allow for anything He is not.

The end result of this is that God moves one direction with no trace of movement in another. He cannot go both forward and back, not because He is powerless to do so, but because He does not will to contradict Himself. If this is so, we come back to the main thesis. Either God is completely trustworthy with everything I am, I have, or I can do, or He is not worthy of anything at all.

Time and again, He has shown me His worthiness. Being the frail, weak thing that I am, I ask Him to prove over and over and over again that He truly loves me. I ask for signs of His love and miraculously the come, tumbling over one another, a torrent, a cataract, a deluge. And still I stand, either unimpressed or unaware and say, "If you love me Lord, you will show me."

So I rejoice in His fidelity, His faithfulness to so weak a part of creation, His vast love. His love for me and for each of His children is endless and plays out in endless displays. Having the attention span of a very small child I need constant reassurance, constant reinforcement, constant abiding concern and direction. And I get it. And God waits patiently for me to decide whether or not I will choose to trust Him, Who Alone is worthy of my trust.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 16, 2005 6:21 AM.

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