This year my word is Trust. I wrote about my reasons for choosing this word in an earlier post.
It didn’t take me long to realise that I find it very difficult to trust God. Although I am familiar with the promises set out in the Bible and the stories of God’s faithfulness, I find it hard to believe that God is working his purpose out and knows what is best for us.
There are many bad things happening, according to the news media. The good things are not reported. We begin to have a skewed outlook on life, when we only think about the news (which is available to us 24 hours a day). We need to look around us and notice the acts of kindness, the people working on behalf of others, the beauty of creation. We need to go on reading about the way God has worked in the lives of other people, not just in the Bible, but through the ages and in our own time.
If I say I trust God, but expect things to go wrong (a tendency I have), what does that say about my trust in God?
Recognising a fault in ourselves is the first step towards overcoming it. As I write this, I keep remembering words from the Anglican baptism service. The parents and godparents (or the candidate if he/she is old enough) are asked, “Do you believe in God?”
The question is asked three times – once each for each person of the Trinity.
Each time the response is, “I believe and trust in him.”
Thus a distinction is made between belief and trust. Trust is action based on belief.
Another phrase from the baptism service is, “With the help of God we will.”
Trusting God involves accepting that we need his help and that it is available to us at all times and in all places. He is ready to guide us and strengthen us, if we turn to him.
Each day we face choices. How do we spend our time? How do we deal with situations as they arise? How do we interact with the people around us? How do we react to news? By turning to God and trusting him for strength and guidance, we are able to experience his peace.
We may find that we are able to refuse to do something that we might have done from a sense of obligation in order to rest. We may find we are able to do something we had not planned, because an opportunity arose. Perhaps others see us as less predictable if we are acting out our trust in God.
One exciting thing that happened recently was that I was able to take up a cancellation on a writing weekend, which had been fully booked for months. I don’t know who dropped out at the last minute, but I enquired about space and was able to go. While it is not always a good idea to leave bookings until the last minute, in this case it worked well. I didn’t worry about whether I’d be able to go as I only knew two days beforehand that I could.
I shall try to remember that this year I am concentrating on putting my trust in God.