Monday, July 17, 2006

Trust Me

How many times have we heard someone say "Trust me on this" or how many times have we said it to someone else? Simple words but I've found trust is actually a complex issue. It was a huge part in the failure of my marriage. It has prevented me from accepting many people at face value. But trust is something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Trusting other people can be difficult especially if you've been burned before. But what about trusting God?

You'd think that as Christians, we would be able to easily put our trust in God. Why do we often find difficulty in it, then? Is it simply our human minds and nature that prevents us from being able to trust in Him completely? Is it our sinfulness? The thing is that we might never have answers for it and that is where trust comes into play. It's the ability to have complete faith without having all the answers. For someone like me that has to know how scary movies end and always wants a happy ending, it's hard to deal with at times.

Sunday's Gospel told of the apostles beginning their journey to spread the word in their travels. They were told to take nothing with them other than their staffs and sandals. For all their other needs they would have to trust in God's providence. How many of us could travel so lightly and on faith alone? Today we can't go anywhere without a cell phone. Perhaps because the apostles witnessed the miracles of Christ first-hand their faith was so strong.

Before I can continue with my discussion of the concept of trust, you must understand that it goes hand in hand with faith. A simple definition of faith is "the theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will." Many of us would like to say "of course I trust in God's will. I would do anything He asked of me." How certain are we really in saying that? Sure it's printed on our currency. In God We Trust. But honestly, do we put 100% of our trust in Him? What if He asked the same thing of us that he asked of Abraham, to sacrifice our own child? Would we question God's judgment? Would we question that it was God actually asking that of us? How many times have lunatics done things in the name of God or Allah that we know God would not command?

Fortunately, God usually doesn't ask us to do the impossible. He simply asks us to trust Him. How simple. In the homily on Sunday , Father Phan explained that trust is essential for our faith and without trust, our faith is incomplete. How true. We have to trust in Him to even begin our faith journey and there are instances along the way where sometimes our faith is tested. I liked the analogy that Father Phan gave. Trust is liking floating on water. If you fight it, you're going to sink; but if you learn to relax you just float on top. He also said that the greatest obstacle in our trust is fear. How true! I know I've been guilty of not having complete trust in God because things weren't going the way I planned or expected. We have to realize that what we may think is good for is and right is not what God has planned for us - especially those desires that are contrary to His will. Trust is abandoning our fear and leaving it in God's hands.

When I look back through my life I realize just how often God has provided for me. I often feel humbled because I certainly wasn't deserving of anything, but things always seemed to work out... even in my bleakest moments. When I found out I was pregnant in college, I wondered how I was going to manage having a child, finishing school, and pay the bills. But I managed and finished my degree. When I needed a teaching job on the step program, I applied at one school only and by chance a teacher left in the middle of the summer and a position opened up. I was always able to find affordable places to live, pay my bills, take vacations, have enough to eat, and have health coverage (or I stayed well when I didn't have insurance) etc. And God continued to provide for me even when I wouldn't give Him the time of day for about 12 years or so. Oh, I thought about Him every now and then. I even prayed once in a while... but I had given up on Church and decided I would live my life the way I want to. There were times when I called out to Him asking "Why is this happening?" or simply "Help me." Sometimes I felt I didn't get an answer, but it always came in some form. Sometimes it took me years to realize that He did indeed answer me...and sometimes it was simply "no" or "not now."

Now that I'm finally getting on the right track spiritually, I am amazed at how He provided for me despite my complete lack of faith and trust. I realize that I had to go through some of those hard knocks for a reason and all my experiences happened so that I might eventually learn from them or use them in some way. I do know that God will continue to provide for me and may continue to teach me a few lessons here and there... even when I have my doubts. I am still human and quite imperfect and when things don't go my way or when I want something that I simply cannot have, I sometimes find myself once again questioning "Why?" I hope and pray that my faith continues to increase as well as my trust in God. As Father Phan said, things may not always turn out as we want, but God knows our needs and in His divine providence, He will provide for them. So when God says "Trust me." Our answer should be a resounding "Yes, Lord!"


Greg Long said...

As parents we are aware of the multitude of times our young children come to us with complete and utter confidence and trust.
I daresay we need to remember our own young childhood because this is the way we children of God should approach Our Father.

The trust of the child is natural. It is not contrived; not calculated.

"Faith is a supernatural virtue
by which under the inspiration and with the aid of God's grace we hold for true what God has revealed not because we have perceived its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason but on the authority of God Himself as its revealor, who can neither deceive nor be deceived." (Vatican Council).

God has given us Will and Intellect. Both angels and human beings were given these freedoms.

God has placed in us a natural desire to know Him. This gift or Grace is given freely and demands only a free response.

The exercise of the free-will is thus to determine whether it will move the intellect to assent to accept as Truth whatever God has said because He has said it.

Reasoning itself will lead to a chain of arguments demonstrating that there is a God. But reasoning is based on arguments and on the limit of intellect. Because it is our intellect it must be finite.

Faith, however, being a supernatural virtue, is not based on, sustained by or dependent upon reasoning.Reasoning has its place to allow us to be open to receive Grace.

Thus the Will developed through prayer affects the intellect so that the intellect is prepared to accept as true things beyond its own experience.

I am not an electrician but when I enter a lighted room I know I am living in the light.

My soul is not that of a Holy Man but when I enter The Church I know that I am Living in The Light.

Moonshadow said...

"Faith is a supernatural virtue
by which under the inspiration and with the aid of God's grace we hold for true what God has revealed not because we have perceived its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason but on the authority of God Himself as its revealor, who can neither deceive nor be deceived." (Vatican Council).

Absolutely excellent.