This summer my family traveled the U.S. visiting our various supporters. However, this was certainly not the summer to be reliant on air travel, as we encountered a whopping SIXTY hours of cancelations and delays. Six years in the mission field (where plans working out is the exception) have taught me to expect and prepare for the worse, so to be honest these issues only moderately phased me. That was not, however, the reality for many I shared flights with. I witnessed many passengers cuss out flight attendants over their delays, blaming them for everything from lightning storms, employee shortages, electrical shorts, and so forth. As I witnessed these enraged temper tantrums I realized how little trust these people had. They didn’t trust the airline to get to their destination, didn’t trust they were being told the truth, didn’t trust their trip would be ok, etc. Here is another thing I realized: they are not alone. Almost all of us have major trust issues, leading to us living lives full of fear.
As my airline experiences demonstrated, trust is something of an endangered species in our culture. Many of us trust very few people, and even fewer insitutions. We expect others to fail us, betray us, have negative alterior motives, etc. For most of us this is not because we don’t want to trust people, but because we’ve been burned. We’ve put our trust in others (such as trusting an airline to get us somwhere in a timely manner), only to have the other party let us down. I totally understand this feeling, as I’ve been burned more times than I can count. However, I can also attest to how miserable life can be if we always expecting the worst. How can we possibly put our trurst in anyone, or anything, in our broken world?
As we continue this series in Proverbs, we turn to God’s wisdom on the subject of trust. Look at this familiar, but often hard to implement, advice in Proverbs 3:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7
Here’s the truth: there are some things we can trust in! We can trust in God’s Word, in God’s gift of salvation, in God’s love, in God’s guidance, and more. We can trust God because God is our Creator, our Savior, and our Sustainer. Yes, the world can (and does!) give terrible advice. For that resason we need to follow the advice of our perfect God: The Bible. The world can (and does) lie to us and ignore us, which is why we converse with God in prayer. And yes, the world can (and does!) fail us. That’s why we trust in God’s perfect gift of salvtion, which no one can take away. Its ok to have major trust issues with the world, but we need to maintain deep faith and trust in the most trustworthy of sources: our amazing God.