It seems like the bad news just keep multiplying. There’s the escalating
level of international unrest and violence, the growing financial woes of a
government that can’t seem to hold back a tsunami of red ink, the continuing
unraveling of our American culture, and all the challenges being offered up
by Mother Nature. Lately it seems as if the best thing to do is find the
nearest closet, climb in, lock the door behind ourselves, and hope that
Gabriel blows his trumpet really soon.
Perhaps it is just for times like these that our national motto was
This is not the first time that America was in trouble. This is a nation
that was founded in a time of turbulence and strife. And those who founded
it trusted the same God that our motto instructs us to turn to.
So the question before us is, what does it mean to trust God?
The answer begins with the understanding that trust and knowledge are not
synonyms. By definition, trust can only happen when full knowledge is
When one of my children was 13 months old, he had the chicken pox. His
fever spiked and he went into seizures. At the hospital, the doctors
decided that they needed to test him for meningitis. I held him during the
When he felt the first needle, his little face turned beet red and scrunched
up. There was no immediate sound as his mouth opened wide enough to hide
his entire face. Then the wails began. When he looked at me, I could see
the accusation in his eyes.
"How could you let this happen to me?" they said.
I knew that I wasn’t hurting him. I knew that each procedure was being done
to protect him from harm. I knew that the testing process would not last
long. He knew that he felt pain, and that the pain was continuing.
There was no way for me to explain what I knew to him because he did not yet
speak English. So his lack of knowledge kept him from an accurate
understanding of why I was letting him be "hurt".
Yet he clung to me as tightly as he could. You would have needed a crowbar
to remove him. He trusted me even though he didn’t understand my actions.
The same relationship exists between each of us and God, except that we are
the children. And just as my little one didn’t speak English, we don’t
speak divine. So God can’t explain the entirety of a painful situation to
us any more than I could have explained it to my own little one.
As parents, we expect our children to trust us. But as children of God, we
don’t trust Him. It’s ironic that if our own children trusted us as little
as we trust God, we would be insulted.
Thankfully, our Founders didn’t share that lack of trust. They believed in
the Providence of their Creator, and based their actions, and this nation,
on that belief. They are counting on us to do the same.