Trust is the basis of life. Without trust, no human being can live. Trapeze artists offer a beautiful image of this. Flyers have to trust their catchers. They can do the most spectacular doubles, triples, or quadruples, but what finally makes their performance spectacular are the catchers who are there for them at the right time in the right place. Much of our lives is flying. It is wonderful to fly in the air free as a bird, but when God isn’t there to catch us, all our flying comes to nothing. Let us trust in the Great Catcher.
Fr. Henri Nouwen
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28, 38 – 39
It is a hard and difficult concept for me. Maybe it stems from my childhood (having an alcoholic father who turned my pink cloud world on its head and spun it madly with his own insanity) or maybe it is from aging and being gun shy after many failures (both personally, professionally, spiritually and economically) over the last 15 years. Or maybe it is from my own reality as a person in recovery as I am learning, re-learning and unlearning many things about life, the ways of the heart, and God.
Trust has to do with relying on the integrity of Someone or something, like when I drive across a bridge I trust that the structure will hold. But trust in the seen as we all know is a far cry different from trusting in the Unseen.
I trust Jesus, I do (I say trying to convince himself). But I am human and in my more humane moments, my trust is fragile, even in the face of evidence to contradict my lack of trust and faith. Time and time again God has shown himself in love and tenderness, from meeting needs to pouring out Grace in my darker, more fragile moments.
It is indispensable to faith in Jesus. I must trust Jesus at his word, even though I cannot see him face to face in his bodily form. But with trust, I do see Jesus daily: in the eyes of wounded people facing their pain boldly and head on; in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor; in the sentient beauty of the mountains that surround my world; in the quiet moments with my angelic fur-ball with her head in my lap. I do see the Word become flesh and in and around me daily.
Trust comes when I ask for the eyes to see in the dark, my own darkness to be precise, the glory of the Lord and his love. Trust comes when I pray for wisdom and then without thunderbolts and lightening, I simply make a choice, trusting that God is working deeply in the midst of my choices, regardless of whether I see or feel God. Trust is knowing that when I take leaps of faith one of three things will happen: either I will be caught when I fall; I will sprout wings to fly; or I will not be broken if I land too hard.
Trust is saying to God, “I know You love me, like no other, and You will always be there…You will never forsake me, even if I forsake myself.” Trust is knowing Jesus says to me daily, “I will never, ever, leave you or forsake you.”