SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 3:5-12
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.
9 Honor the Lord with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves the one he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
According to Leo G. Perdue in Proverbs: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, “In the third strophe (3:5–6), the teacher admonishes the student to trust in Yahweh, not himself, and to come to know God in the experiences along life’s pathway. Trust (bāṭaḥ) in God, according to the wisdom teachers (Prov. 16:20; 29:25), is a virtue that is central to the practice of religious faith. To trust God means to rely on God’s truthfulness and integrity and on the authenticity of divine promises.”
Trust seems to be something in short supply lately as conspiracy theories abound and awful truths of misconduct come to light. We may be frustrated when we hear someone challenge a scientifically accepted fact, but then when buried truths of horrible actions by trusted leaders are unearthed it is not so hard to see why people have become mistrusting. In my own lifetime, I have already seen the explosive Enron scandal, the implosion of the sexual misconducts within the Catholic church, and everything that has come to light as a result of the #MeToo movement exposing horrific actions of people in power.
So if people feel that they cannot even trust the leaders of this world and other people of influence who are right in front of them, is it any wonder that people might also struggle to truly trust in a God that they cannot physically see, and one that’s name has been used in some of the very trust-breaking actions we have mentioned? The difference that we need to remember is that God has always been faithful to us. God has always loved us. God’s grace is one thing that we can always put our trust in completely.
Where do you struggle to trust God? Where do you find it easy, or easier, to trust in God? What has influenced this reality for you (i.e., Scripture, life experiences, etc.)?
Trustworthy God, when even the most reliable tenants of this world fall short, you never fail. Your love and grace given freely to your creation opens to us the possibilities for salvation and a meaningful relationship with you. Help us to be cautious in our trust, but also not to become so cynical that we cannot open our hearts to love our neighbors and be shining examples of your love to the world. Amen.