Daily Meditation #344–2/3/2023
These meditations are usually not inherently “religious” in tone as I desire to reach everyone! However, I was invited to write a piece for my church. It feels worth sharing, here, and believe it can still be of use to all — regardless of theology. Enjoy.
Trust is something all humans seem to struggle with. And it often makes perfect sense — especially when we have previously had it violated.
We are hit by a drunk driver and then no longer trust any drivers.
We experience infidelity and then can no longer trust any spouse.
Our child doesn’t do their homework and flunks a class and then we no longer trust them to do their coursework.
Trust, however, is integral in just existing. Without trust, we cannot function. Without trust, the foundation of our mind erodes with anxiety.
When we don’t trust our spouse, we upbraid them with little passive aggressive remarks “Who is texting you?” We wonder all day if they are flirting at work. We try to peer into their mind and their every little behavior to look for inconsistencies. And we act like this even if we have never once experienced any dash of infidelity from them! We have no reason to mistrust them.
When we hear our phone go off with one of its incessant notifications but cannot answer it, our imagination goes wild. Is it our child in a car accident? Is it our boss? Could it be news that our father passed away? And of the probable 10,000 or more notifications some of us receive each year, how many are actually the bad ones? 1? 3? How do we define “bad?” We have no reason to mistrust our imagination with these notifications.
When on a plane, we grip our seat with trembling horror and deathly anticipation as we take off and land expecting to be killed in some fireball of molten shrapnel. Can we control the pilot? Could we fly it better? Is it up to us whether we live or die? Is dying so bad, anyway? The pilots have 10,000s of hours of experience, taking off and landing planes almost daily — we have no reason to mistrust their experience and skill.
Will the Walmart cashier scan something twice by accident?
Will the interested buyers of your home steal from you?
Will your heart give out?
Will the medication prescribed to you work? Or kill you?
Will your dog rip up your couch while you’re at work?
Will your president serve your interests? Never? Sometimes? Often?
Was your chicken packed and shipped without thawing and inviting bacteria?
Will God hear your prayer? Answer them? Serve YOUR interests?
You can see how interwoven into us mistrust can be! And many of these thoughts we may have are never framed around trust at all.
So, what’s the bottom line of all this trust and mistrust talk? The double-scanned Walmart goods, the bacteria in the chicken, the cheating/not cheating spouse, the dog and the couch? On the Lord hearing us?
Here’s the rub with trust:
You have absolutely no choice EXCEPT to trust.
You have no control over others, no control over the world, no control over God — only control of your own body, mind, and perceptions of the world.
Unless you want chaos in your relationships, you have no choice except trust. And this chaos, this sort of worm in your mind, rotting you out with discord, is involved with trust everywhere. We have no choice except to trust.
Will our trust be broken? Absolutely, and often.
But our trust in God is ultimate trust. We cannot ever understand His design or intentions. Though we all have our own free will and we can only “just” trust our spouse, pilots, other drivers et cetera, when any of them — these worldly, fellow humans, prone to sin — violate this trust, our only choice is to trust God!
And isn’t that beautiful?
No matter what happens, we can only ever trust in the Lord and He will never violate our trust. Though, like children, there are times we feel scolded or robbed wondering why we “didn’t get our way,” God is assuredly — like a good parent — doing what is best for us. The world will wrong us, other people will surely hurt us, but we cannot control them. We cannot control the world.
We, however, can control our mind and perceptions. We can choose to understand that the world is full of selfish, self-interested, narcissistic individuals and do our best to protect ourselves against them (and to pray to God to help with this and to pray for them!)
While the world is governed by all manner of sin and corruption entirely outside our control, we have no choice but to trust in others and to trust ourselves and God. Bad things will inevitably happen to us and those we love, but through trust in Jesus and his sacrifice, life can be easier knowing one day we will be totally free of the destruction and deceit of the world — of the pervasive mistrust we are so drawn to!
We can only trust.