“Trust” and “Belief” are interesting terms. Are they the same? If not, what is the difference? We are told to “just believe”, as if that will make everything alright, as if that will somehow make us worthy or deserving of God’s attention. What does that mean? Believe in what??? Believing is an odd thing. It moves us beyond where we are, beyond ourselves. Believing in God means that we realize that God exists, that God is part of our lives, that we need God. And yet, believing, in and of itself, means that on some level, we have systemitized our understanding of God (or, for that matter, whatever it is in which we claim that we believe). Once we “believe”, we have in some way locked in our understanding of something. So, for us God-believers, God has become our own doing, our own creation, our own imagining of how God works and who God is. In some way, to say “I believe….” is to affirm, yes…to confess, yes…and to claim it as part of who we are, yes. But saying those words also means that we have in that moment boxed God in to who we think God is.
Why can’t we just trust in God? Why can’t I just trust in however and whoever God manifests Godself in my life? God is God. Why is that so hard to trust? You see, when you get right down to it, God is not really something that can be defined, or systematized, or limited to my belief system. Sure, God is comfortable and reliable and one on whom we can count to set our lives on track. Thanks be to God! But, God is also wild and unfathomable, unpredictable and imaginative and one on whom we can count on to throw our carefully-cultivated and perfectly-planned lives into a complete and unadulaterated tailspin. Thanks be to God!
You see, there is a difference between believing in who you think God is and trusting in God who is. God is beyond who we can imagine in our dreams. God is beyond who we can claim as our belief. And God is beyond what we have planned and cultivated and saved for the certainty in our lives. God is God. Nothing else. Why is trusting in God so hard? Because to trust in something, we have to surrender to the idea that it’s more than what we’re capable of conceiving. Trust in God…and be surprised at what you find! Trust in God…and find that in which you should have always believed.
Grace and Peace,
Picture: Jerusalem, Israel, 2010