So I woke up this morning with the word "trust" nearly being screamed in my head. It's not everyday that I wake up with some word blaring in my brain...most days I wake up to the dog endlessly whining to get up and FEED HIM...because he IS about to starve to death. (Have you seen my dog..he could go a while without eating and BE JUST FINE). But he gives me a good lead in to the whole trust issue that is foremost on my mind this morning.
See, Bruce(my dog), trusts me to get up and do two things every morning. He trusts me to feed him and to let him out to do his business. Now my order of priorities with that and his are different...he wants to be fed first - I would rather him pee first! It's a thing I have about my carpet! Anyway, that is what trust is...he has placed his confidence, his hope to be fed, in me. He completely expects me to be at home and get up when he decides it time, which has been later than usual the last few weeks, and let him out the back door and fill his bowl with his favorite yummy dog food. Seems simple enough. But what if I'm not home, what if something happened to me? I think of the story of the man and his dog in Japan - if I weren't lazy I would look it up...but the dog met him coming off the train everyday from work...then one day the man died and the dog continued to meet the train - hoping, trusting that the man would finally come home. Makes my heart hurt just thinking about it.
So here is where I am going with all this. Trust is something some of us do very easily, some of us do it too easily, and some of us seem to be unable to do it at all. A friend recently told me that they tend to trust the people they don't have reason to trust and don't trust the people they should. I had to think about this for a minute - but it makes sense really. We trust the people we know the least because they haven't had the opportunity to cause us to NOT trust them. Yet, more than likely, those we are closest to have had more than their fair share of times that they have broken our trust - be it intentionally or not.
I have always considered myself a fairly trusting person. I have always given people the benefit of the doubt in most circumstances. But then there are matters of the heart...it's one thing to trust someone to take the garbage out, clean their room, make you dinner, pay for something, etc...you get the idea - these are more or less physical things that, sure, people might NOT do, but for the most part you know whether you can trust them to do it or not. But when it comes to less physical things and more emotional experiences this is where trust gets a bit more interesting.
The definition of trust according www.dictionary.reference.com is - reliance of the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing, confidence. In my Bible(NIV) it is described as - to place one's confidence in, to hope.
When you get to be in your mid-40's you have certainly experienced having your trust broken, especially in relationships. I have trusted friends and others I care about with my heart, with my feelings, with my deepest desires, dreams and needs many times in the nearly 46 years of my life. Many of those with whom I have placed my trust have proven to be steadfastly trust-worthy. But there have also been times of great heartbreak from my trust being broken by someone. I know that I have broken the trust of those who trusted me as well. It's part of being human, that human condition thing again. As imperfect beings, we are subject to failing others, others failing us and even failing ourselves.
So how do you allow yourself to put your heart out there and trust again? This is what I found myself waking up to this morning. Can you trust, do you trust - not only the other person, but myself! Can I really trust myself this time? It's a risk I know I am willing to take. But not all of us are willing to take that risk to trust others or ourselves in areas of our lives that have caused us hurt and pain before. But for me, in my desire to live a life that is bold and courageous I don't think I have any other choice but to trust again. But there is one I know, without a shadow of a doubt, whom I can trust - God.
The Psalms and Proverbs are full of the word trust. The word trust appears to be mentioned more in those two books of the Bible than nearly any of the others combined!
Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Ah, there it is! That's the verse. If I trust in God, not myself or someone else, and stop trying to understand it all - which I do to my own demise - and simply acknowledge that HE is in control - He will make my path straight! OK - this sort of makes me laugh because my path has been anything but STRAIGHT! But if I had lived a life on this super straight path would I have what I have now? Would I be who I am now? Not likely. Which is where I realize that I have to trust that God is in control and that by leaning on him and acknowledging him as best I can - He will guide me down the next path...and from His point of view the path is straight.
Psalm 56:3 - When I am afraid, I will trust in you. David had been through some STUFF...but he knew above all he had to trust in the Lord. He had experienced the pain caused by human - but he knew time and time again that he could run to his Lord and be safe, protected from the pain and suffering of mortal man.
So as I embark on this new chapter of my life, and move forward into living my life with boldness and courage, I cling to the knowledge that God is the One I can trust. He has seen me through the tough times everytime before and the blessings that He offered as a result were greater than any I could have imagined. I can trust Him with my heart, so I must trust Him to guide me on the path He has made for me. I will trust that those He has placed in my path, though they may at some point cause me pain or hurt - be it intentionally or not - have been placed there by God to be part of my journey. And in that knowledge - as long as I am turning to Him for my guidance and assurance - know that the blessings He has in store for me are even greater still!
That is hope. That is trust. That is the promise of my awesome God!