Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On trusting

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

It is this passage from proverbs that I woke up remembering this morning. Proverbs 3:5-6. It is my husband’s favorite. We have all our children memorize it.

So what is trust? More precisely, what do we do when we trust? Primarily, we love. We have to love in order to trust. Secondly, we enter into a reliance upon this love. Thirdly, there seems to be an element of uncertainty on the part of the one who trusts. This would require faith and hope.

The theological virtues, then, compel us to trust first in God and then in those whom God has chosen to lead us to Him. Therefore, we must trust in our fellow humans, all the while knowing that only God’s love is perfect, and that humans are capable of choosing to reject it.

Is it scandalous to say, then, that God trusts? God loves. Love is creative. God’s greatest creation is man, who was created to love freely. There is uncertainty in creatures with free will. However, God is also omniscient, so he knows exactly what will happen. Therefore, might we say that God has a sort of transcendent trust...a trust that is so great that despite having the knowledge of every evil thing that has happened, is happening or will happen, that allowing the world to play out in time cannot conquer the glory that is to come?

So if God who knows and loves most perfectly is willing to keep us going in all the messiness of life for His greater glory, the least I can do is to keep trusting. Will my heart be broken again by someone I love? Almost certainly, but He knows what He is doing.

“Therefore, I will trust Him...He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.” – Blessed John Henry Newman


  1. Thanks, CC. I like how you linked trust and love, something good to think about this afternoon. And I like John Henry's words also. (I am about half way through the huge book of his sermons; most every one is filled with wisdom -- if not wit.)