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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss

It’s a Matter of Trust

When it comes to trusting ourselves or others, much less God, we humans are funny and often very cynical creatures. We want to be trusted, but often we don’t feel or act trustfully in our interactions. It’s as if we spent our entire lives finding out that there was no tooth fairy, Santa is the product of an old folktale merchandised by a soft drink company and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is empty. We expect to find that things are not what they seem to be and so we enter into relationships, whether in business or life, with a bit of suspicion and a hint of guardedness, just in case.

Sometimes we do not trust ourselves to make good decisions, we check and recheck with others seeking validation; and we often express this lack of trust verbally, “I do not trust myself to………” From where does this doubt spring?

We reserve our greatest doubt, our fundamental uneasiness with trust in our relationship with God. We may want to believe he has us covered, want to believe he really does have a plan for our lives but too often we can’t quite get there. We reach out toward him but in the final moment walk ourselves back trusting instead in everything and anyone but God for help. That’s when we experience the Wile E. Coyote moment, as we run at top speed off the edge of the cliff only to discover there is nothing beneath us. The same thing happened, by the way, on the Sea of Galilee when a certain apostle started his walk across the water and halfway there began to doubt what was evident only moments before. You see he was walking just fine. It was only when doubt crept in and trust dissolved that he began to sink.

So it is with us. When we let doubt and its companion, fear, rule our lives, when we pray to God for help but rely on ourselves or others to provide the answers we begin to sink and will surely drown if God does not intervene. Here is the crazy part—he will. Even in the face of our doubt, our manifest lack of trust, he still steps in and saves us from our self-inflicted mistakes. The why is easy, because he does love us and wants what is good for us. The how is a little bit less clear.

I say this because things are not always what they appear to be and what he does and how he does it doesn’t always take the form we expected or perhaps hoped. Nevertheless, it is always what we need—just in time.

Recently I headed off in a direction that while very well intended would have likely resulted in doing unintentional harm to others and perhaps myself. I was urged to pray on it and when I did, I got a very clear indication that it was a decidedly bad idea. As a result, I did not do what I had intended –and let me say I was pretty intent on doing so, seeing myself as a shining white knight riding a horse of righteous indignation. God reminded me that he is in the righting of wrongs department—not me. I checked my ego, and let it go—gave the whole thing up to him—and it all worked out as it should have, in fact far better than I could ever have imagined.

Sometimes, when God does these things, saves me from myself, or just delivers some spectacular moment of grace and joy in my life I ask myself, why? There are a lot of people in the world who deserve grace and seemingly, some do not appear to receive his gifts. On the other hand, I am hardly a paragon of virtue, and yet God seems to love me beyond any reasonable expectation I could have. I can only conclude it is because I do try—though often haltingly, to trust him. I mean completely trust him, trust that whatever happens in my life is for the good and will all work out as it should.

Those are very easy things to say when life is going well and there are no ripples on the pond. When the seas rise up and the wind blows—that is another story entirely. That’s when our trust or we might say, our faith, is tested. I think God is preparing me for that because he knows it is somewhere in my future—a storm that could drive me to my knees, and when it comes he wants me to be ready—he wants me in that moment of crisis to knows it’s all going to be ok—if I trust him.

In a way, God is little like the Godfather. He has said, I will do this thing for you and in return there is something I will ask of you one day. Only, the thing he will ask is not for his benefit, but for mine. I do not know what dark face this thing will put on—or when it will occur. I have already faced some truly difficult days in my life and survived them with his help so this one must be a doozy—whatever and whenever it may appear. So, I am going to keep on building up those trust muscles against the day when God says—no matter how bleak and dark things may look, Trust Me—it is all going to end well.

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