Unwavering Trust

By Jackie Temple, Director
Columbus Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic. When the shadow of Jesus' cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, depression, sickness, the loss of a loved one, when we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own pain, when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place - at those times we may cry out in anguish, "How can a loving God allow this to happen?" At those moments the seeds of distrust are sown. It requires a heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.

"Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

One of the needs we seem to have is for clarity in all situations. There was a gentleman named John Kavanaugh that worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. He was seeking a clear answer on how best to spend the rest of his life. He asked Mother Teresa to pray that he would have clarity as she had. She firmly said, "I will not do that. Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."

Craving total understanding and clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown destroys the childlike trust in the Father's active goodness and unrestricted love.

We often assume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, and vanquish the uncertainty. But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case. Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth. It does not still the chaos, dull the pain, or provide a crutch. When all is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, "Into your hands I commit my spirit" (Lk 23;46). (Excerpts from "Ruthless Trust" by Brennan Manning)

Today, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to exercise that childlike trust. I was speaking to my sister yesterday and she was telling me that she feels so strongly that we as Christians need to stop having such a bleak and dismal view of our future. We cannot give Satan this foothold. God is ultimately in control. All that he created is good , therefore we are absolutely steeped in his creation and his goodness. Throughout the world at this very moment are millions, maybe even billions of little acts of love and kindness that are being committed. At times it's almost like we are fish swimming in an ocean of God's love saying "where is the water" We know from God's word that the plans that he has for us are for HOPE and a future. God loves us divinely. This is OUR world that he has given us and what he gives is always good.

She is right. The victory lies at the cross. It is times such as these that we, a Christians, need to demonstrate the joy and trust that God is still on His throne!

There is nothing worse than a negative, depressed Christian.

It is not a coincidence that the Pope has announced a year of faith that began last month. His apostolic letter is titled "Porte Fide" which translated into "Door of Faith". We are being called to go walk through that door of faith, to go deeper in our faith and trust in God. Not to fear the fire of purification, but to allow God to purify us so that we can be filled with more of Him. Its a time to allow God to pour His love into our hearts. We are called walk through that Door of Faith and bring as many with us as we can.

It is time to strengthen our drooping hands and our weak knees, to make straight paths for our feet, so what is lame may not be dislocated but healed. (Heb. 12:12-13)

It is NOT a time to sow seeds of distrust, but may our confession be:

"O Most High, when I am afraid, in you I place my trust. God, I praise your promise. In you I trust, I do not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?" (Ps. 56:4-5)

"In the Lord I have trusted, I have not faltered." (Ps.26:1)

The Lord comes to my support, he rescues me because he loves me (cf Ps. 19-20)

"I believe I shall enjoy the Lord's goodness in the land of the living" (Ps. 27:13)

My happiness comes by trusting in the Lord (cf. Ps. 40:5)

But I am like an olive tree in the house of God. I will trust in God's faithfulness forever. I will proclaim before the faithful that your name is good." (cf. Ps. 52:11)

I will wait for the Lord who will bend down and hear my cry, draw me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp and set my feet upon a rock, steading my steps. Many shall look in awe and they shall trust in the Lord. (cf. Ps.40:1-4)

"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." (Mt. 22:37-40)