Last week, as I was sitting reviewing the highs and lows of 2012 in preparation for setting my 2013 goals, the Pew Research Center was kind enough to drop this nifty timeline of the major events of 2012 into my inbox. From the theater shooting in my home state to the school shooting in Sandy Hook, the year reads pretty much like every year does, with its own updated version of sadness, sickness, and despair. And I’m sure if I interviewed you, you’d have your own personalized timeline, perhaps like Pew’s, or like my own, in which friends announced divorce, teenagers killed themselves, and cancer invaded yet another beloved’s body.
Whether or not such tragic events are signs of the world going to hell in a hand basket, of Christ’s return is imminent, or of, as my mother says, “the devil’s on the prowl,” one thing is for sure: Worrying about it doesn’t help.
That’s what I am reminding myself because here’s what hit me in a recent middle-of-the-night fret fest: Worry and trust cannot coexist simultaneously. Meaning, if I am worrying, I am not trusting. Alternately, if I am trusting, I am not worrying. It’s a fact so elementary I’m ashamed to admit I’m just now getting it.
The question is, how will this epiphany change my everyday life? When my Facebook feed is filled with stories of terrible flu viruses, fear strikes hard and the challenge is front and center: Can you trust Me? When the insurance company says, “Oops, actually we don’t cover orthodontia after all,” even though four kids are already braced up and it’s too late to back out: Can you trust Me? When teenagers head out on icy roads: Can you trust Me?
I don’t know. Up to this point, trust has been a buzzword I use to console others, but, honestly, beyond empty talk, I haven’t lived it much. Hard inescapable relationships, prayers seemingly ignored, and silence when I needed His voice have a way of making one feel God is not much interested, that drawing near results in Him running for the hills. That, however untrue these things are, God may be more interested in teaching a painful lesson than applying balm on an open wound.
Trust? I’m not much familiar with it. But you can bet it heads up my 2013 list.