July 26, 2014.
You’re standing on the edge of a cliff looking into the abyss below. You hear water and see the rocks of which the misty waterfall beats. There is a cool breeze as you feel the fear of the edge creep through your body. Looking out, you hear a still, small voice. “Trust me. Jump.”
Sound scary? This is how I imagine complete trust in God. When you can stand on a cliff with God and jump off when he tells you to, knowing that he will catch you. Obviously I am not speaking literally here, but more of an imagined scene so we can decide what we would do and/or how we would feel if we were actually in that situation, talking directly to God.
Do we have that trust? Taking an honest look, if you were in the above situation, would you jump? I’ve tried to imagine what I would do and how I would feel. I think I would be quite scared, but if I was talking directly to God, I think I would jump. There is something that is so freeing about trust. When you can put yourself in the hands of another and know that they will not harm you, but keep you safe… it’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I think God wants us to have that with him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.”
But the question is, do we have this trust? I think it is hard to answer this question without a lot of self reflection because the truth of the matter is that many of us who live in America don’t really need to trust in God. We have our 401k’s, savings accounts or retirement plans. We have government mandated insurance. Some have great support groups to act as a safety net if they fall. I’m not saying any of these are inherently evil, but they do tend to weaken the need to trust in God to supply our needs. Or so we think, at least. I think the King David saw this attitude in other parts of the world when he penned:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
We really do trust in our chariots and horses, so to speak, than relying on God to come in for us in the crunch. This builds a dependency on the material world rather than a dependency on the Father. I first heard about this concept (that I can remember at least) my freshman year of college, and I was not happy with it. I fought against the notion that we don’t trust in God just because we were prepared for bad times. Why would we not prepare? Isn’t that just the intelligent thing to do? Doesn’t God tell people to prepare for things like famines and hard times in the bible?
I still do not believe it is wrong to prepare for hard times, but I do now think that it is wrong to lean on our preparations. And I think this happens a lot more than we would like to admit. When you read the famous passage below where Jesus is teaching about not being worried, think about what his words mean when they are juxtaposed with our rainy day preparations.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
What do you think? Are our preparations from lack of trust in God? Or do our preparations make us trust in God less? I think a good question to ask in order to judge where our heart is would be this: If all your backup plans feel through today, how would you feel? To whom would you go to? Friends? Family? Your workplace? Would you run to God? Would you still trust in God? These are all tough questions, but I think they are questions that would give us insights to our level of trust in our Lord.
You’re standing on the cliff with the misty abyss down below. Would you take the leap of faith?
Suggested Daily Reading: Job 1, Psalm 20, Proverbs 3, Matthew 6.
Trust in the Lord.