When I was a teenager I there was a woman in our church that was always there. It seemed as though she was a constant in the church-as dependable as one of the load-bearing walls that kept the high ceilings and steeple from caving in on us. To me, she seemed to have it all together. One Sunday afternoon, I gathered the nerve to ask her a question that had been nagging at me for a while. "How long does it take to trust God completely?" I asked, timidly. As she looked over at me, a little girl decades her junior, it was as though she had been waiting all her life to answer my simple question. As genuinely as she could she leaned over and said "I'll let you know when I find out," after which she smiled and went on her way. It was then that I realized that my question was bigger than I had first imagined.
Not many years after that I joined the military and had to make some major choices and figure things out for myself in a short amount of time. If it hadn't been for my mother raising me to have good character and teaching me how to pray, the immorality I was living in and surrounded by would have been my demise instead of my stepping stone. What I learned then was that I was always on the mind of God (Jeremiah 1:5). This meant that I could depend on Him to be there for me no matter where I was, or what I had gotten myself into.
Fast forward over a decade and I had only taken several small steps forward in my journey to the land of Trusting in God. I did figure out that God understands this is a process and has set up scenarios for me-as any good father would, to help me grow and learn to trust Him. I've learned that trust is something that is innate and learned, simultaneously. For example, even as a child I knew I could trust my mother intrinsically, but I had to learn how to trust her fully as I grew and matured in different areas and levels of my life.
"For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of rightousness: for he is a babe. But stong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" Hebrews 5:13-14
What does this have to do with trust, you ask? I'll tell you. Many adults trust God on the same level I trusted my mother when I was a toddler. I knew she would feed me, clothe me, make sure I was clean and address all of my basic needs. I knew she was taller than me, older than me, knew more and could do more than I could. There were times when she was gentle and would rock me in her arms. Then there were times she was firm and had to command my obedience or at minimum my obeisance, as the Queen of her Kingdom (a.k.a. our home).
It was not until many years later that I would learn how deeply I could trust her. How she was not simply my Queen/Mother, she was also my friend and confidant. I no longer questioned whether I would be fed, clothed, or bathed; I knew that was a given. However, through consistent relationship, I learned that there was no part of me that I had to hide from her, there was no place I had been, or thing I had done that would change her love for me.
"And if you who are evil know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give The Spirit of Holiness to those who ask Him?" Luke 11:13
If God, through a human being, could show me love in its purest human form, how much more would He, the Creator/Giver of my first love, love me? And if I could for a moment take my mind off of the sounds, pains, disappointments, rejections, deadlines, chores, commitments and all other busyness surrounding my every waking moment and ponder that thought...if I could forget my intellect and experiences, my short-comings and frailties and think about the loveliest thing I've ever imagined, and that Christ is lovelier than that...then I would have a glimpse of what trust, Godly surrender and dependence means.
I invite you on this journey with me. Abandon yourself right now. That's right, put all your stuff and anyone else's stuff you're holding on to aside. Lay it down. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Now, think about what love is. If you've never experienced love or don't think you have, pull on your deep rooted desires. Not your wants-a new house, car, or job; those are things you can function properly without. The things you need and can't live without, those are desires. You know exactly what I'm talking about because you know that love is not a feeling. I repeat: Love is not feeling. Feelings of contentment and confidence are simply the result of true love; the comfort and security that have been birthed into and belong to those who are truly loved. And let me tell you what I've discovered: God alone can love this way, and God through His son Jesus the Christ can teach us how to accept this kind of love.
When we understand-even in our finite minds, how much we are loved, we won't be able to do anything but rest completely in it. That, my friend, is trust.