I have encountered enough narcissistic and sociopathic personalities in my lifetime that if a charming new acquaintance says, “Trust me,” I’m pretty sure I should do just the opposite.
In this time in history the Lord seems to be exposing hidden corruption in formerly trusted institutions. Whether revelations involve government, media, medicine, education, religion, or even dark family secrets mouldering away in too many basements, it is easy to become jaded.
When the foundations are crumbling, what can we do?
We are facing a national and international crisis of trust. Who do we believe? Who is not secretly self-serving? This is not limited to individuals who lack empathy. Special interest groups and even entire countries seem to be following a me-first narcissistic agenda.
Many people are shouting, “You’ve got to do something!” Few people have helpful suggestions.
As I face situations all around me which I cannot possibly fix and am tempted to go into over-responsible eldest child overdrive I hear my heavenly Father’s voice.
I do, Lord. Mostly. I wish I could trust you more. I just don’t know how.
Grace not only allows you to see who I am, it reveals who I am not. My Grace trumps the world’s expectations.
I pondered this. My past experience taught me to expect punishment, criticism, disapproval, disappointment, nasty surprises, betrayal.
Then I watch the little grandchildren I have been caring for. They are so sweet. I don’t have to be fashionably attractive, or legally vetted, or financially well-endowed, or Good Housekeeping-approved to earn a genuine spontaneous hug. They trust me.
I make mistakes, and accidentally step on toes or forget which coloured bowl they prefer, but I adore them and would never intentionally do anything to harm them. They know that. They trust me to protect them, nurture them and have their best interests at heart. They take me at my word and don’t question my motives.
Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
Our Father in heaven is not like the authority figures who have let us down. Not even close. A lot of the process of learning to regain child-like trust involves letting go of lies we have been believed about God.
A song from my childhood has been playing in my head this week.
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!”
-Louisa M. R. Stead
Here’s the thing. Babies don’t trust parents because they have read a resume or done a performance evaluation or run a background check. Babies trust because they have no options. Becoming like a child is simply resting and letting God be who he is – someone who knows and loves every hair, every cell, every heartbeat.
Unlike our own parents he will never drop us on our heads or use us to serve his unmet needs. He will not place responsibilities upon us that are too heavy for our level of maturity, nor will he enable learned helplessness by restricting our freedom to grow.
I hear him say, “So you’re out of options. I’m not. Trust me.”
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18: 16,17 NIV)
On his lap. It’s the best place to be.