Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
One thing that I consistently find is that, when it comes down to it, we don’t truly believe what we tell ourselves we believe. It seems that a day does not pass when I do not hear myself or others express concern over the state of the government or the stock market’s latest bearish move. I consistently hear about the rapid decline of our society and the systematic erosion of morality in the church. What I believe I am hearing is an expression of fear. Do we trust the Lord when he asks us to “consider the lilies of the field” (Luke 12:16-35)? Do we believe Him when He says, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10)? Do we not have faith that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:26-32)? Sometimes, for me, the answer is no.
A few days ago, I visited the Walmart nearest the stadiums in Independence, MO. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this bumpkin was not going to be fitting in. I must admit I became a little edgy. Fifteen minutes into my visit, I heard the sound of breaking glass; I looked up to see a man running down the aisle, knocking merchandise off the shelves, with a cop hot on his heels. If I had a little dog, and I was a young girl from Kansas… well, the line writes itself. I began to sweat some. How could I ever be okay with someone I loved shopping here? Fear started welling up inside me as I considered the dangers that my loved ones face when I’m not around. To my shame, it took every bit of thirty minutes for me to realize that I was going to have to put my trust in God on this matter. To further my shame, it took at least another five minutes for me to realize that it was God who protected my loved ones even in my presence.
Where does trust come from? I can’t say that I know, but it seems that love has something to do with it. As love is demonstrated, trust is validated. The Father loves us beyond our comprehension. The longer I’m alive and the more I experience, the more I am persuaded, “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).