Everyone around the globe worries about what they will eat and drink when they are unemployed. Everyone worries about what it will look like when they literally can’t afford to pay all of their bills as money gets tighter and tighter. Worry comes so naturally that it often doesn’t even feel like an active thing that we are doing. Perhaps that’s what’s so difficult about it. It’s hard to lay something down that comes as naturally to us as breathing.
But…there is Jesus to think about. He admonishes his followers to not spend their time worrying. He says, instead, that we ought to be seeking first Gods Kingdom. He asks us to trust him when he says all of our needs will be fulfilled in going after his kingdom instead of our needs. I can’t help but think off Aladdin holding out his hand to Jasmine and saying “Do you trust me?”. Much like Jasmine we may be thinking this is a little bit crazy. Which is easier, to climb on a magical rug that seems to be supporting someone’s weight or to trust that our needs will be met while not trying to meet them ourselves?
Trusting what is in front of us, even if it’s odd, is easier. Kind of like that old trust game that used to be so popular during camps and after-school activities. You were expected to stand and fall into someone’s arms that stood behind you. You couldn’t see them but could hear their promises to catch you when you fell. I don’t know about y’all but my mind began racing,…who is this person behind me? Do I know them? What are their credentials for catching tall and overweight girls? Do they secretly hate me and have been waiting for this opportunity to see me humiliated?
God’s like that. He doesn’t step out in front he stands behind with his arms open, whispering words of “you can trust me, I’ll take care of you”. It may not be righteous to say so but we all wonder a lot of the same things. Does God secretly hate me? What are his credentials for dealing with someone as uniquely messed up as I am? Do I really know him?
Many peoples lack of faith in God comes down to exactly this; he simply won’t step out in front of you, he stays behind and whispers that you can trust him and fall into his arms. It makes us want to shout, as I often felt like shouting in these trust exercises, “I don’t have a problem with trust, I’ll be happy to fall into your arms If I can see you in front of me”!
But…perhaps I do have a problem with trust. I wanted to see you, I wanted to have my eyes open so that I could catch myself when you fail me. It wasn’t easier to trust you if I fall frontward into your arms, it was easier to have faith in myself.
For this reason, people are easier to have trust in than God. They are out in front. If we have been hurt by them, we can keep our guard up. OUR hands are ready to catch us, and OUR feet are ready to run if we need to bolt.
God though, get’s right at the heart of our need to take care of ourselves, right to the heart of our darkest pain and says “trust me”. “I am telling you that I will catch you, I am telling you that I will provide for you” he whispers behind us, “trust me”. “I am not like them, I will never leave you or forsake you” he whispers. “I will always catch you” he says.
What are we even supposed to do with a God of Love? How do we imagine a deity that loves us as we are? Not the selfie us, but the really screwed up us. How do we accept someone who loves us as we are?
Maybe we would have to stop hating ourselves; maybe we would have to stop living in a state of constant tension and worry. Maybe we would have to trust what the says.