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Trust

Here we are, right in the middle of Holy Week, when we recall the events of the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. The week that started with Jesus, welcomed as the hero by the crowd, the one who would begin the insurrection, get rid of the Romans, and make everything right again. The week that ends with Jesus hanging on a cross, dying a criminal’s death, abandoned by the crowd and even by almost all of his closest friends.

Psalm 25 begins: “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that much easier to say than to do… like when things aren’t going very well. But maybe even more so when they are. Sometimes I find myself really putting my trust in my own abilities – as if I might say to God “That’s okay—you’ve got other, more important, more difficult, stuff to take care of. Don’t worry about me. I’ve got this. Don’t trouble yourself on my account.” And that seems to work. Until the bottom falls out of my world.

Perhaps that was the case with the psalmist. Because as we read through the rest of the psalm, it becomes clear that he’s in a pretty bad spot: “lonely, afflicted, troubled in heart, anguished, hated by numerous enemies.” Not exactly a red-letter day. Not at all the kind of day that makes me think I can handle it all on my own. Exactly the sort of day that makes me really hope someone’s “got it”, because I surely don’t.

But we are such creatures of habit, we human beings, aren’t we? So, it makes sense that wherever I put my trust on a regular day is probably where I’ll put it when things get tough, right?

The psalmist continues with this request: “Show me your ways, Lord… teach me… guide me.”
I want to want what God wants. I want to want to do it God’s way, on good and bad days. I want to trust God, every day. Even when I’m tempted to do it on my own. Maybe even especially on those days.

Maybe that’s what the psalmist meant when he says: “my hope is in you all day long.” A dictionary definition of the word “hope” is “to cherish a desire with anticipation or to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.” If I can learn to rely on God, hope in God even on the best of days, isn’t it more likely that I will trust him even when things don’t look so good?

Why else would Jesus have continued going forward through this week, as events slid from bad to worse, other than the love he bears for humanity, and the trust that God really has “got it”, even when we don’t?

“Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love; according to your love, remember me, for you, Lord, are good” And I’m trying, really I am. Trying to wait on you – to lean on you, to trust you every day, whatever comes…

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