James A. Washington

Sometimes words alone cannot convey meaning and feelings the way we’d like them to. Trust, for example. The reference point for my meaning is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all things acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust is such a complex thing. Have you ever been betrayed by someone in whom you had total trust? Have you been able to totally trust another person since? You can see how easily misplaced trust puts you in a terribly vulnerable place. It’s uncomfortable. It’s abnormal. It ain’t fun.  Yet, in this passage we are instructed to put our trust in the Lord.

The question is: Can you do it? Are you able to put trust in your heart after you experience devastating betrayal? And we’ve all been betrayed in one way or another, either by having our beliefs proven false or maybe your heart has been broken. Everyone knows someone who has been crippled by a lover or spouse gone crazy, or watched someone stumble up on the truth about a situation that everybody but them knew the real deal.

In the real world, that kind of stuff hurts. In a real sense, once destroyed, “trust don’t come ‘round here anymore.”

But now we’re supposed to go out and trust in the Lord implicitly. You get my meaning? Extreme caution usually follows crippling betrayal. New relationships are founded largely on mistrust and “prove it to me,” not blind faith and unconditional trust. Life teaches us that only a fool would allow themselves to be misused again and again. Therein lies my question about trust and what it means to you.

Can you deal with this concept every day? How much of a struggle are you having trying to trust people who have taught you not to give them the time of day? Do you treat all people this way or just the one(s) who betrayed you? Can you forgive? Can you ever forget? Do you really want to?

And what does all of this have to do with God? How are you treating Him in the trust area? “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2.

Now, exactly, who’s proving what to whom? Are you requiring God to prove something to you before you trust Him? Are you demanding from God those same things you demand from someone, anyone, before you would even consider giving him or her your love? You see, it is so easy to succumb to a lifestyle which requires proof before love is given. It’s so easy to demand the possible from people who are incapable of giving it to you. But how can you base your relationship with God on worldly principles grounded in betrayal and disappointment? Are you requiring God to prove His love to you before you give yours to Him?

The key to this trust thing lies deep within each and every one of us. We first have to confront those demons which have plagued us for years. And yes, that means all the pain that goes with them. Then and only then can we begin to even accept the concept of trust and loyalty, total and without equivocation.

Because then trust means knowing. Trust means truth. Trust means no matter what, I know that regardless of conditions and circumstances, I am God’s child, made in His image and the recipient of His love. After all, He loved you first and has never gone back on His word. Trust that!

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