For several years I made a strong but half-hearted attempt at selling insurance and mutual funds; strong because I worked hard, half-hearted because my heart was just not in it. I tried to trick myself that it was, and I was excited about the money potential, but that latter part so rarely came my way, probably because, yes, my heart was just not in it.
I had the privilege of working with a man of great integrity and strong faith. He mentored me in some ways, and gave me a distinction which came back to me this week, when I was reading the Psalms.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 90: 1-3)
In one conversation with my friend and boss I said that I trusted God, and he pointed out the difference between trusting God and God being trustworthy. God is trustworthy, whether or not I trust Him. God does not become more or less trustworthy dependent on my faith.
When we were kids (and this is a long time ago now), there was a wonderful teleplay of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin in the title role. (It’s available now on YouTube!) My generation became entranced. At one point in the story, the fairy Tinker Bell, represented by a light on the set, was wounded and near death. Tink would be strengthened and healed by belief — and Peter Pan looked at us through the TV screen and begged us to say out loud, “I do believe in fairies! I do believe in fairies!” and Tink’s light, which had dimmed almost out, gradually strengthened and then shone bright. Our belief had strengthened Tinker Bell, and she would be okay. Whew!
Well, God’s not like that. God is trustworthy, regardless of whether we trust God. In our Core Value of “Sharing Fellowship”, one of the questions is, “Am I confessing my sin?” I confess that often when I pray I do not conclude by leaving it all in the hands of God, who is faithful and worthy to be praised. I pray and give it to God, and sometimes I take it right back up again. Another choice would be to watch and see what will happen. But that takes patience…and maybe love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
And I’m not always there. But God is.