Not long ago someone made a comment to me that expressed a deep level of trust in me regarding a particularly personal thing. It was as humbling as it was honoring. Trust from others is not something I take lightly; in fact, it can be a scary responsibility to carry another’s trust throughout even a portion of life’s journey.
What if I focus so much on myself and my needs and my agendas that I forget to protect what was entrusted to my care?
What if I make a careless remark that shoots through it like an arrow and leaves it bleeding and lifeless in my hand?
What if I hold it too tight and crush it between my fingers?
What if I, in my sinful faltering, drop it and leave broken shards strewn across the minutes and years that once held a treasured relationship?
Paradoxically, trust can form bonds of incredible resilience and strength while at the same time its existence is solely dependent on the fragile and delicate climate of trustworthiness. Outside of this environment it gasps and flounders, devoid of all that gives it breath.
Sometimes we forget that trust needs to be carefully guarded and nurtured…until it lies in ruins at our feet.
Sometimes (often?) our trust is misplaced.
“What they trust in is fragile;
what they rely on is a spider’s web.
They lean on the web, but it gives way;
they cling to it, but it does not hold.” Job 8:14,15
Spider web things….wealth, beauty, people (neighbours, friends, family, leaders), idols (and possessions that become idols), status, deceptive words; our own strength, ability, and cleverness…
Spider webs can be incredibly resilient and strong, but one gust of wind and the bonds break and droop and gaping holes destroy the whole.
And all those spider web things? They are mentioned in the Bible with warnings NOT to trust them. Lots and lots of warnings…because we need to be reminded lots and lots as we live trust-needy and vulnerable that trust can only exist in a climate of trustworthiness.
Apparently history has shown that spider web things are not particularly trustworthy.
We need to be reminded that there is only One we can trust fully. Always. In every situation and circumstance. Forever. Period.
Two observations on a brief study of the word trust in the Bible:
1. The Old Testament speaks quite frequently about what not to trust and strongly emphasizes trust in the Lord as the desired and necessary path.
2. In the New Testament there is more emphasis on the trustworthiness of the message and the messenger.
It’s as if in the OT there is an image of God’s people as pilgrims on a journey needing to trust that God would lead and direct them as they followed His call. Then, in the NT, the image is more of God’s people as trusting messengers whose mission is authenticated by the trustworthiness of their message.
I found this insightful.
May I not lean on spider web things. May my trust be firmly grounded in the trustworthiness of God – and not in a creed, cliche, pat response sort of way.
May trust in God be the way I fully live… and may my prayer ever be for grace to trust Him more.