My wife insists she fell in love with me the first time she laid eyes on me. I still think she should have gone to have her eyes checked, but twenty-three years and two children later, I guess I have to take her at her word.
Some things happen instantaneously; other things take time to build up. Trust is one of those things that doesn’t happen overnight. It is hard won and quickly lost because you only need someone you trusted to betray you once, and straight back to the start you go, no matter how long it took to build it up.
They can have reasons, excuses, and justifications for why they did what they did, but to your heart, it will just be empty words. I don’t care why you stabbed me in the back; you stabbed me in the back! No further explanation is required as far as I’m concerned. Unless you meant to tell me you were going for the invisible man who was getting ready to strangle me, and even then, I probably could have fought him off and still been better off than getting stabbed.
We’ve all been there at some point; we all know how crushing it is to have your trust betrayed and how long it takes to repair the tear in your heart. We also know how skittish we become about trusting from that point forward because the fear of being betrayed anew is ever present in our minds. The wounds may heal, but the scars remain, and sometimes the phantom pain is so real you can’t tell the difference between the two.
When it’s another believer that betrays you, it becomes more complicated still because it’s easy to conflate a Christian’s betrayal with the notion that God betrayed you. Rather than lay the blame where it ought to be, bitterness against God begins to blossom.
Were that it was not so, but most of the time, God gets the blame for what His supposed servants do. Not everyone who says Lord belongs to Him, and not everyone who attends church, is honorable. Not even everyone who pastors a church is honorable, now that I think about it. All you have to do is collate the stories of how many pyramid schemes and failed investment scams their flocks were taken in by to see the truth of it.
Trusting God and trusting man are not the same, nor will they have the same outcome. One will fail you, the other never will. One will betray your trust if it’s advantageous; the other will stand by His promises because He is God, and He changes not.
Every person in the Bible from Genesis forward knew that they could count on God. It wasn’t some mass conspiracy to make God look good; it was the truth of their lived experiences. Some of the things certain authors admit to within the pages of Scripture are not flattering. David had a guy murdered because he thought his wife was cute, among other things. If they were that candid about their own shortcomings, if God had ever failed them, or they could somehow pass the buck and say it was because God fell short, don’t you think they would have?
Who would endure what the apostles and the primary church did for a God known for failing those who followed after Him? Who would go to the ends of the earth preaching a gospel whose God did not help when He promised He would?
Keep in mind, they weren’t living the lives of the posh and pampered back in the day. There was no earthly reward for their dedication and determination to spread the Gospel and no offer of comfort and excess if they remained true to their callings. The things they had to look forward to weren’t mansions and jets. It was crosses, flails, beatings, and tortures.
Sometimes we miss that part of it. It’s hard to relate living as we do, but there is a cost, there is a price, and the reward is not on this side of eternity.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that God keeping His promises always means the good guys win or that you get to ride off into the sunset, fully intact and unsinged. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. You don’t get to choose which, and you don’t get to decide how the story ends because God’s thoughts are not yours, and your thoughts are self-centered on the best of days anyway.
Even Jesus prayed that if it were possible for the cup to be taken away from Him, He wouldn’t mind at all if it was, but He resigned Himself to the Father’s will and said, “not my will, but Yours be done.”
Sometimes God keeping His promise means dying well or your faith not failing before the finish line. We cannot see the spiritual through the prism of the physical and assume we are rightly dividing what we are seeing. We all want to be the heroes of our own stories but forget that martyrs are heroes too. I either spoiled your day or made your day with that one. It is the truth, whichever side you land on.
Because you know He will not fail or betray you, you can trust God fully. That in itself is liberating beyond description. You know that trust is not misplaced; you know it will not be abused, and every time you cry out for help, He will be there. That beats any thirty-day money-back guarantee.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Post a Comment