Trust. A loaded word.
One word that requires surrender in any kind of relationship. In our personal relationships, and especially in our relationship with God.
Trust. Also the number one reason relationships fail, according to Psychology Today. Or lack of trust, actually. I could go into all the reasons this is, but I have an analogy, or a story instead: Learning to swim.
When I first learned to swim it was one summer when I was maybe 7 or 8. We used to spend summers in Colonial Beach, which is a bit past Fredricksburg, VA; on the Northern Neck Pennisula. Anyway, I remember spending a week on the boardwalk, and also in the deep end of the pool, learning to doggy paddle and swim underwater.
This later transitioned to swimming with reckless abandon in the water with my brother…the river really-with countless jellyfish. And once we upgraded, in the ocean.
No worries about what dangers lurked underneath. No fear. Trusting our legs would carry us back to the surface, and the waves would not take us under.
But now? Oh…I still enjoy the pool. Because I can see what’s under my feet. And, I enjoy the ocean. The sound. The sun. The feel of the breeze as it blows over it. But, I ain’t getting in it. Because I know what lurks in those waters. My youngest has watched enough shark week to keep me from EVER jumping in those waves again! I got trust issues when it comes to the ocean. Irrational fears of sharks, and other things under my feet that may get me, and take me out.
Nah, I will stay put in the sand, where it is nice and safe. Because, out there in the deep end, where I can’t see what lies ahead. That is scary. Unpredictable. I don’t trust that if I stick my toe in those deep, scary waters something won’t bite me-and then I will sink.
Trust in the unknown is scary, now. But why did it seem so easy then?
Jumping into the deep end, and expecting to just know how to doggy paddle. Swimming with jelly fish, getting stung, slapping some sand on the sting, and jumping back in for more. Jumping in with the waves and expecting to come back up without shark bites, seemed easy as a kid. We were fearless. Brave.
The world had not tainted me. Yet.
No one had failed me. Yet.
No one had disappointed me. Yet.
Broken my trust. Yet.
Fed me a big fat lie. Yet.
Taught me that life was dark, and scary. That no one was throwing me a life preserver, and that no one could be trusted. Yet.
I was hopeful. Full of faith. Until I wasn’t. Until I put my hope and faith in people.
Isaiah 43:2 gives us a different hope: When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
It is the people, and the world. The weight of it all that have drowned me. That have taken away the reckless abandon I had as a kid. That keep me worried about the darkness that lurks, or the things that may reach out, and bite me or consume me.
It is God who tells me He has got me. Nothing is going to overtake me. There is no darkness out in those waters that I should fear. Nothing too murky for Him to see, and even if I can’t see what is underneath my feet-He does.
Yet, we continue to put our hope in people. Things. Institutions. Wealth. These things that tell us who to be. That are all too unpredictable. That don’t catch us if we drown. Those that convince us we are not good enough, and that we will fall. Until we are too fearful to jump into the deep end. Just to see if we can actually swim out there in the unknown.
We are fearful of all the things we can’t even see.
Trust. What exactly is it?
Merriam-Webster defines it as a “firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something; or a person or thing in which confidence is placed.”
In Hebrew the word trust translates to “batach,” which also means “reliability or confidence.”
In terms of God, it means to rely on His protection even when we can’t see good in our situation. To have confidence that the outcome will be pleasant, and purposeful.
It’s like the words of this song…it’s been out for while, and every time I hear it, I think of my need to surrender my worries and fears over to Him again and again…
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior. -Hillsong
Wherever He would call me. Even if it means jumping in the deep end. With reckless abandon, as if I were a kid again. Because His presence is with me now, as surely as it was with me then.
I don’t have to fear what lurks ahead. He knows. He knows where my feet will wander, and He won’t let me fall. He knows the waves may get rough. There may be darkness. But His presence is before me, beside me, helping me to stay above the waves, and to see light through it all.
To keep my faith strong when it starts to waver. To trust in Him when people in this world just disappoint.
Trust even in the unknown. Unpredictable. Scary. Confidence that His plan is oh so good. That He is for me!
In the waves and on the shore. In the deep, He won’t let me be taken under. I can keep jumping in as long as I put my trust and hope in Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT