There is an old story of a father who took his young son out and stood him on the railing of the back porch. He then went down, stood on the lawn, and encouraged the little fellow to jump into his arms. "I'll catch you," the father said confidently. After a lot of coaxing, the little boy finally made the leap. When he did, the father stepped back and let the child fall to the ground. He then picked his son up, dusted him off, and dried his tears.
"Let that be a lesson," he said sternly. "Don't ever trust anyone."
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Life is full of broken trusts. Maybe none as harsh as the experience of the little boy in our opening story! It is hard to imagine that level of broken trust.
The world is a trust breaking place and there are none that can escape the pain. As long as there are people involved there remains the potential for pain.
Trust can only be broken where there is someone involved and something to lose. You need someone and you need something to break a trust. You have to get close enough to someone to have them hurt you.
Sometimes we get burned. Even Jesus got burned while on earth!
Michel Card captures this in his song, "Why?":
Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord?
Why did he use a kiss to show them? That's not what a kiss is for
Only a friend can betray a friend,a stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough to ever cause so much pain
The only person that is completely trustworthy, the only person that always does what he says, the only person that has never failed is God the Father. He is holy and incapable of breaking his word. He is holy and unlike his creation in this way. He is holy and does not change. He is not like a shadow that shifts and moves with the sun. He is constant.
And so we have a challenge before us this morning. On the one hand we are accustomed to the pain of broken trust. We have varying levels of protection built up from years of growing up. We know that anyone at any time can betray our trust. YET on the other hand we have the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ calling out to us from the pages of Scripture to TRUST him.
Trust that he is good ... all the time. Trust that he is taking care of us even when we cannot see it. Trust that he love us perfectly and will not allow us to experience anything beyond what we can handle. Trust that he is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. Trust that he is working to conform us to Christ even if that includes discipline. Trust that his plan is what we would accept if we had all the facts!
Trust him even when you do not understand. Trust him even without the facts.
If you are honest, this is difficult. Maybe that is why God says to not lean on our own understanding. Maybe that is why we are to check our defence mechanisms at the door. Maybe that is the key to really knowing the Father. Maybe trust really is the deal.
I, this day will choose to trust the Lord. He has never broken a promise. He never will. I may not like each and every outcome but I know God will work all things together for my good and his glory.
Can you trust him like that today?
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.