Friday, March 6, 2015

Blessed are those who put their trust in God, with God for their hope.

Jeremiah 17:7

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” “All good things must come to an end.” “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” “Easy does it.”

How many of these little sayings can you come up with? I would wager that if we all sent our list in, we could come up with hundreds of them, maybe thousands. Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes not so much. I can tell you my father eats an apple every day for lunch (because he likes them – not because of the saying!) and yet I take him to an awful lot of doctor appointments.

I believe it’s so human to try to explain the unknown, to try to fix what’s wrong, to try to put a language to that which is mystery. In our defense, we often do it out of compassion and love, and sometimes they actually work. But, I venture to say, our idioms often come up short. We tend to put our trust in words and explanations and are quite often hurt in response because sometimes there just isn’t a reason, an answer, or an explanation.

Today the prophet Jeremiah tells us there one place that we can put our trust and be safe – and that is in the hands of God. Not only will we be safe, but we will be blessed.

For me, on my spiritual path, putting all my trust in God hasn’t come easily, nor is it a constant reality. There are days when I need to remind myself multiple times that I can trust that God is with me and loves me. Years of experiences – the hard ones – have often left me wondering where God is or how it’s possible that God loves me. If that were true, why would bad things happen? It’s only in hindsight that I have come to realize that it’s specifically because God is present with me and loves me that I have continued to live, grow and love. And truly, my friends, I believe to my core that I am blessed. My life is far from perfect, far from what I expected, and often times uncomfortable – but it is blessed. Author Brennan Manning said this in his book Ruthless Trust : “My trust in God flows out of the experience of his loving me, day in and day out, whether the day is stormy or fair, whether I’m sick or in good health, whether I’m in a state of grace or disgrace.  He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am.”

Maybe today we can look at our past experiences and notice the presence of God. Maybe today we can ruthlessly trust that we are always loved by and in communion with God. I wonder how it will change how we experience the world and how the world experiences us. Didn’t someone once say “Actions are louder than words”?

Rev. Joan

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