Don’t you trust me?
If I walked up to you today and asked you to let me hold all the money in your pocket, but promised to give it back to you tomorrow, would you trust me? For those cynics out there, this is, of course, assuming that you had more than $1.29 in your pocket! But seriously… if you had, say, $200 in your pocket right now, would you trust me to hold it for a day with the promise of its return? You’re likely to respond ‘no’ for a myriad of reasons ranging from “I hardly know you…” to “I’m not sure if I can trust you with that amount of money…” to “I’ve never lent you money before… how will I know if you’ll return it?” So… is it a matter of the quantity of money or the idea of trust? Interesting question… For me, I find that it’s a matter of tolerable risk… the smaller the amount, or risk, the more I’m willing to take a chance in the name of trust.
Let’s change the scenario slightly… what if, instead of Greg asking to hold your money, it was Jesus asking… hmmmmm. Beyond the fact that it all belongs to God anyway, would you be more apt to hand over your $200 to Jesus than to me? If the answer is yes, why is that? Is it because he’s got more data behind Him to support His trustworthiness? (Is it based on fear over what will happen if you don’t??) Do we really have the kind of faith that would trust Jesus if we came face-to-face with Him not just with money, but with all things? It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it… and yet, Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, doubted that Jesus would save him as he began to sink after Jesus summoned Peter out of the boat and onto the water in Mattew 14:22-32. AND, this is after witnessing Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand+ individuals by starting with five loaves of bread and two fish! Talk about trust credentials!
So… is there something going on here that helps to explain the lack of trust? Could part of it have to do with fear? After all, God is so sensitive to this human characteristic that He speaks for us NOT to be fearful 366 times in the Bible. In one instance, He commands strength and courage… in Joshua 1:9, God speaks “I command you to be strong and courageous… Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If God took the time to address fear so strongly, He must have had a good reason to… perhaps it was because unaddressed fears could turn into phobias and phobias keep us in a weak place, preventing us from reaching our full God-designed potential!
While on the surface it’s sounds easy to just speak out your fear and “get over it”, it’s not that simple. As a man, I don’t want to admit I have fears! It’s counter to how I was raised that a man should be… fearless! In his research on the roles of men and women in relationship, Chip Ingram, in his work House or Home, God’s Blueprint for Marriage, he states that “…the biggest fear a man has is failure.” And, he’s right… but I believe that our spiritual walk and growth is enhanced when we can turn to God to admit our fears or pray that He reveals our fears to us. Doing so allows freedom from the control of those fears and begin the process of growing through the fears. Risk taking doesn’t come naturally, but spiritual growth involves risk and risk relates to fear. Faith, I believe, is the mechanism that bridges the gap between risk and fear. Just as Peter in Matthew 14:29 was called to leave a boat in midst of a raging storm to walk on water, something that he had never done before, it was a risky step and filled with much fear. The event ultimately led to a stronger faith and deeper intimacy with Jesus. And what Peter experienced, we can tap into that same opportunity. Doing something risky in the name of being a risk-taker is foolish… doing something risky that has God at the foundation is called faith!
Heavenly Father… the words of the psalmist in Psalm 27 speak “The Lord is my light and my salvation… whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life… of whom shall I be afraid?” Lord, it is we who create the block to becoming the people you’ve designed us to be… help us to identify our fears to release potential strongholds of the enemy on us and to live life as You want us to live. I hand over all my fears to You… I give You control over my life… let today be the beginning of growing through our fears and not under them! Amen!
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)