Trust issues. How many relationships have taken a great fall off this heaped-high mountain never to be put together again. And yet trust is so fundamental to human relationships. I believe the reason for so much of our pain lies in misplaced trust, trust in sinners just like ourselves who in this life will never be 100% trustworthy. Trust issues—the fountain of so much anger, fear, and anxiety—have been front and center ever since our first parents ate the forbidden fruit and brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery (WSC Q. 17).
So where does that leave us? It leaves believers with a trustworthy Savior whose atonement opened the way for them to be reconciled to God (Romans 5:11). We are children of an infinitely trustworthy Heavenly Father, and He calls us to trust Him with all our hearts. God is always true to His word, so we can confidently place our trust in His love and faithfulness and wisdom.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
The very things that cause us to lose sleep God desires to free us from. “Do not be anxious about anything,” God says to us. Instead, “By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” let your requests be made know to Me. Then, my peace “which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) The same is true of our fears. When we are in distress and call on our Heavenly Father, He will answer and set us free. “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:5-6).
There will be no limit to our confidence in these promises when we trust in the Lord with all our hearts. But that only brings the problem into clearer focus—my heart is divided. I like to trust in what is seen, like a husband, friend, or bank account. So back I go to square one with trust issues, to the active fountain of anger, fear, and anxiety.
I believe, Lord; help my unbelief. That is my daily prayer.
God alone is all-knowing, all-wise, and completely righteous. No matter how many degrees follow our names, we are finite, lacking in wisdom, and unrighteous. Why would we ever want to place our faith in the latter when we can rest in the former? (This is a rhetorical question, but something inside me wants to raise my hand and say the word pride.) We simply think we are better at judging what is good for us, smarter at making financial decisions, wiser in the way we raise our children, and on and on it goes—until we break into a gazillion pieces at the bottom of the heap.
Thank God He leads us away from ourselves to Jesus. The more I experience the love of Christ, the more I’m drawn into His way, His truth, and His life rather than my way, my truth, and my life. Will I never again feel the searing pain of shattered trust? No, probably not. And that will be okay because God is still God, and He will never leave me or forsake me. I will just learn to lean into Him a little harder.
The last part of this verse has an amazing all in it—in all your ways. Do you pray about the tiny details of your life, those things you wouldn’t bother mentioning to another person? I often fail here. God desires that we pray about big things and little things, things we consider crucial as well as things we consider insignificant. What a friend we have in Jesus! As true as those words are, I somehow forget the rest of the the hymn that claims that title; “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” And I would add, carry everything to Him first in prayer— not to my own reasoning and not to my own will and not to my best friend or spouse.
Charles Spurgeon was a firm believer in taking everything to God in prayer. I would like this to be my testimony as well.
There is no secret of my heart which I would not pour into his ear. There is no wish that might be deemed foolish or ambitious by others, which I would not communicate to him. For surely if “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him,” the secrets of them that fear him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord.
When my mind acts without thee
it spins nothing but deceit and delusion.
When my affections act without thee
nothing is seen but dead works.
Grant that I may distrust myself,
to see my all in thee.
(Valley of Vision, 46-47)