A year and a half ago now, a colleague of mine, preaching at our classis meeting in Colorado Springs, hit me right between the eyes with his sermon. He was preaching about trusting God, and all the reasons God has given us to do so, and how our spiritual life really begins there, at that point; in the moment that etched itself in my mind, he said, “We hear God saying, ‘Obey me, obey me, obey me’; but what God is really saying is, ‘Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.'” As he went on to say, yes, God wants our obedience, but not out of fear, or duty, or desire for reward, or any of the other reasons we come up with; God wants us to obey him because we trust that he truly knows what is best for us, and wants what is best for us, and is at work to do what is best for us.
And that’s the rub, isn’t it? Most of us, at least, don’t trust God for that, and don’t particularly want to. At some level, in at least some things, we believe we know better than God, and that God is telling us “no” because he really doesn’t want what’s best for us—he has some other agenda, some ulterior motive, someone else he wants to benefit at our expense. We don’t obey because we don’t trust; and even when, time and time again, events prove us wrong, trusting God still doesn’t seem to get any easier. And yet, through all of it, he remains faithful even when we are faithless; he remains trustworthy even when we refuse to trust him; and he keeps calling, in the stillness of our souls, “Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.” If only we will learn to listen . . .