Who do you trust? Your spouse? Your parents? Your best-friend-forever? God?
And I need to ask – what do you mean by trust? Do you trust them to never lie? To never hurt you? To always be honest? To always say what you agree with? To always have your best interest at heart? To always please you? To never let you down? But what does that mean?
I have been thinking about the idea of trust lately, after hearing friends comment that there’s nobody they can trust. I went through my own crisis of trust a number of years ago; but what I discovered was not that there was nobody trustworthy, it was that I needed to examine what exactly I was expecting in order to qualify as trustworthy. And the One I was struggling to trust was God.
I used to trust God because I had always been so blessed, ever since I chose to faithfully follow my Creator and Savior. I assumed that my comfortable life was the result of my devotion to my God, and His love for me.
But He allowed someone to be taken from me. Someone who was a pillar in my life, and it happened when I was struggling with depression after the birth of my baby. Not only that, but this loss affected my entire world, causing everyone else close to me to be consumed by their grief and unable to help me with my own. And it was all God’s fault. And I was so angry at Him that I stopped talking to Him. And my heart was truly in despair.
Because I finally realized that all I thought I knew about God was wrong. What was there to believe in anymore?
But, my loving Father didn’t leave me in my despair. He let me feel it. Then He asked the questions, and we had the conversation.
“Do you still trust that I am God?”
“Yes, I can feel you here even now. You have proven to me many times that You exist.”
“Do you believe I am all powerful?”
“Do you believe I am good?”
“Do you believe that I love you?”
“Do you trust me?”
“I no longer trust that you won’t do something that will hurt me.”
“Can you trust that I love you and will do the best thing for you even if it does hurt you?”
My mind went to one of my daughter’s healthcare appointments. To me, holding down my baby tightly while the nurse poked her with a needle, as she cried and searched my eyes for the reason I was subjecting her to this pain. A necessary pain. A pain for her own good, though she was not developed enough to understand that yet.
Could she still trust me? Not to keep her from all pain all the time, though I may wish it. Not to always say yes. Not to give her everything her heart desires on every whim. Not to always agree with her.
She can’t trust me in the ways she may wish she could, but yes, she can trust me. To do what’s best for her, no matter what. To make decisions for the long game, not just for momentary gain. To use my experience and maturity to protect her, even if it’s from herself. To love her unconditionally.
I chose to trust God again, though my definition of trust had changed. It needed to. I know I am not perfect, so to only trust what falls in line with my own thinking and reasoning would be foolish. How freeing to trust the One who always knows better than I do!
The same can be said of all our personal relationships. Yes, there are people who shouldn’t be trusted. They look to their own interests above those of others. But I don’t believe there is NOBODY to trust. There will always be someone in our lives who loves us and wants our best. The problem is that trusting in someone will never be painless, even when they are trustworthy, and we have to learn to be ok with that. If they truly love us, they will hold us accountable when they see us doing things that might hurt us. They will be honest when we are trying so hard to avoid the truth. Trusting sometimes hurts, but we grow, and we get healthier, and we are stronger for those people who honor our trust. Don’t keep them at a distance and claim they are not trustworthy just to avoid pain or discomfort.
My trust in God is the foundation of my life now. I don’t trust Him to always do what makes me happy and comfortable; I trust Him to do what is best for me and everyone involved in the long game. It might hurt sometimes, but I know I’ll be ok. Because I trust Him.