I read a meme recently that said: “Whether it’s friendship or relationship all bonds are built on trust. Without it you have nothing.”
But in a day when no one seems trust-worthy—how do we do it?
Lincoln Chaffe said, “Trust is built with consistency.”
I believe it is also developed through discerning. Discerning who can be trusted, when, and why.
We trust individuals, corporations, friends, physicians all at different levels and for different reasons.
But we need first to learn to trust ourselves—our intuition, gut, intellect, resources. We need to learn to trust the process.
We need to learn to trust that the truth will rise to the surface, and that is often the process…and it often takes time to rise.
And we need to learn we can trust God. Several times in both the Old and New Testaments there is invitation to test and trust God. Work through his promises and see if he doesn’t come through.
Trust is like a muscle. You have the potential…you just need to exercise it.
In darkness we often find fear. Not seeing…not knowing. Where should we go? What lurks beyond our sight? Panic!
What if God is leading us to a new place of trust…in him?
What if instead of panic and fear that pushes us to run—a foolish choice at best since we cannot see where we are going—God wants us to sit still?
This morning I had a conversation with another believer who was describing how God pushed aside her daily To Do list and offerered her his instead.
And there was only one thing on it.
What if God is inviting us to set aside our busyness and multi-tasking ways and do his one thing?
What if we got still in the darkness—the unknown—believe God’s word and promise, and just wait until he showed us the next step to take?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)
Submitting. Not a popular word or concept. It draws pictures in the mind of quitting and weakness, failure and loss. To modern sensibilities, submission is archaic and dangerous. Many couples have responded so strongly against the concept, they remove it from their marriage vows.
Not only did Jesus include the concept in his paradigm of prayer (Lead us not into temptation), but when he looked out with compassion on the oppressed crowd, he invited them to take on his yoke and learn from him. His call to the disciples was an invitation to follow him. And then he told them that to follow him meant being willing to take up their cross daily and walk his way.
Submitting to a higher authority, following as he leads, learning his way, is woven into everything it means to carry his name, to be his.
So it should not be surprising to us that submission is linked inheritantly to submission. After all, we are asking someone else for something. In that action we are admitting we don’t have all the answers, direction, resources needed and are dependent upon another.
God has lead his people from the beginning: in the garden he walked with Adam and Eve; in the wilderness he led the nation to the Promise Land—using a cloud and a pillar of fire; and Jesus was always pointing his followers to a new way of living and believing.
The old hymn puts it well: Lord, I would place my hand in Thine, nor ever murmur nor repine; content, whatever lot I see, since ‘tis my God that leadeth me (Joseph Gilmore, “He Leadeth Me).
The story is told that when the theologian, Karl Barth, was asked to sum up his voluminous theological writings, he responded with, “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”
I have a younger colleague who’s historical and theological knowledge blows me away. He is quite capable of using all the big words and complicated concepts…but he can also explain it to me—and I’m about as simple as they come.
There are those who are impressed and feed on the complicated: like a riddle needing to be solved, but there are those who long for the simple truth, the bottom line. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Jesus reached for a child and held them up as the paragon for faith.
When it’s all been said and done…and Jesus did just that…the truth that matters most is we are loved by the God of heaven who wants a relationship with us, wants to bless us, wants to bring us joy. He knows our name and our frame.
Why do we have to make it any more complicated than that?
Are you a disciple, a Christian, a believer, a seeker, a servant, or a Christ-follower?
Some folks who for a long time have identified themselves as Christians, have backed away from the label to avoid what they perceive as a negative perception in the media and modern mind.
More important than the label we wear is the truth that flows in our living.
I am thankful to be among the many choosing to continue the work of Jesus…simply…peacefully…together.