“Trust is built slowly. Trust is destroyed quickly. Trust can make complex things possible. The absence of trust can make simple things impossible. Trust powers relationships, businesses, nations. Trust is as precious as it is fragile.” ~ Unknown
We live in a frightening and disturbing world. Because of that, we have had to take more and more precautions to keep ourselves safe. Sadly, that often means learning to trust less people. I have always had mixed feelings about programs for young children such as “stranger danger” programs or our present day lock down practices at school. These types of things might heighten awareness of danger around us and teach us how to protect ourselves. However, they also encourage a large amount of fear.
Just recently, for example, a high school initiated a fire drill. When the alarm went off, students did not want to leave the building. Their rationale: “What if someone pulled the alarm just to get us all outside and force us into a kill zone?” They feared for their lives and several students broke down in tears at the prospect of having to go outside and face death.
We tell children that they need to be wary of strangers and we often push that so much that they become afraid of everyone and mistrust even those that they should trust. Some children are afraid to go to the police, a teacher, or a minister because they could be a danger to them. How is a child going to get the help needed if the child is too afraid to approach the person who can help?
Doing this, we often build up a great degree of mistrust. If a child goes to someone, that child might be so wary as to not accept the suggestions given by the professional from whom aid was sought. This general lack of trust permeates a person’s life so that, even as an adult, it is hard to determine who to trust and who to distrust. “Read the fine print”, “What’s in it for them”, “What conditions are attached”, and other phrases tell us never to accept anything at face value.
When we do this, we also apply that type of thinking and reasoning to our faith lives. People find it very hard to trust God because, after all, we cannot see Him. We have learned that we cannot trust something or someone that we cannot see or hear. We have come to accept, as a general truth, that no one is trustworthy, that everyone is in it for their own advantage.
This is a truth that we can count on: YOU CAN TRUST GOD. Maybe we need to begin a billboard campaign and plaster that phrase all over the world in as many languages as possible. YOU CAN TRUST GOD. God is the only one who has never broken a single promise. God is the only one who has no ulterior motive when interacting with us. God is the only one who is not in it for Himself. God is the only one who can carry us through anything that we get ourselves into in our lives. YOU CAN TRUST GOD.
If you have learned to mistrust everyone and everything, I apologize for that disservice done to you because there is one you can trust: God.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace that you need to deepen your trust in Him this day.