In the play “Green Pastures” the angel Gabriel reports to God about the situation down on earth, and the report isn’t good. “Everything nailed down is coming loose,” he says.
Sometimes it feels that way. There are days when everything seems to be going haywire. The things that once were predictable may appear to be challenged. Values once held dear may be mocked, and respected leaders may be questioned and imputed.
When one reads the Psalms, David expresses very similar views about what was happening in his life. David experienced the big “D’s” — disorientation, despair, and doubt. These feelings plagued him and made him wonder which way was up and which way to go. Perhaps we can find comfort in knowing that these feelings are not new to us, but the question that troubles us is, what do we do about these feelings?
One of my cherished lessons about Scripture is that if one searches its truth regularly, there are answers to the issues of life. The foundational instruction of Scripture is the word trust. Real trust dispels doubt in our thinking. The assurance that our life belongs to God and that He ultimately desires the best for us is beyond comforting. Trust allows us to rest assured with the unknown. It gives us the confidence to face specific challenges when we may in unknown circumstances. Trust also allows us to believe that God not only is, but that He cares about each present-day and the future which lies before us. That is one of the reasons the Psalms are so comforting to us when we read and meditate on their truth.
Trust also is reinforced in our anticipation of a future beyond the immediate. While I was in college, I read this quote: “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” In an age where we demand instant answers, that truth directs us towards the most appropriate behavior and choices.
Some years ago I met a man named Robert Schuller. I’ve always appreciated the positive confidence he expressed in his lifetime mantra: “When faced with a mountain I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay...and turn the mountain into a miracle with God’s help!”
In times of pandemics, when the circumstances baffle us, and life’s struggles feel overwhelming, we can cling to the call to trust. Peter said to Jesus, “Where shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” One of the most precious is the word, TRUST. May you find it reassuring whatever you are facing today.