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Doubt, is it the enemy of trust?

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season." (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Trust is won, but not as easily as it is broken sometimes. We have all probably trusted someone to do something they committed to do in the manner they promised at the specific time they intended. The outcome was slightly different than what was committed, though. We end up disappointed by the lack of commitment someone revealed in that moment. When that happens repeatedly, trusting that individual to fulfill their commitments becomes very hard, doesn't it? Think for just a few moments today why it is you trust or don't trust God. I doubt a lack of trust in God is based on him not keeping his commitments in the manner he promised within the timing he intended! In fact, it is likely we 'don't trust' God because we 'don't trust' someone else who has disappointed us way to many times - maybe even ourselves.

One that trust has 'put down roots' within the relationship. There is a depth because there has been an investment made within that relationship. Roots don't just 'form' because you 'think' them into existence. There is first a process of death before there is any evidence of life! Think about it - the seed has to decay a bit, breaking down the hard surface of the seed in order to open up to the soil into which it has been planted. Then it sends down roots - little ones to begin with - then bigger ones that give it more and more anchorage as time passes. I have trees in the back yard that have roots extending from one side of the yard to the other. You know how I know this? I have tried to dig up some of the soil around the yard only to find the roots of the biggest one spreading wide and deep!

We trust God because we have placed roots in him. We get solid anchorage over the course of time, but not without first experiencing a little 'death' in the process. We likely have to 'die' to our own desires a little, embracing the new desires he places within our heart. In time, we come to trust those desires as they begin to create change within us - we see the fruit of change. Trust isn't emotion-based, but it carries emotional attachments, doesn't it? When we trust fully in someone, we 'feel' secure even when the choices they are making seem a little harder than we might like. We 'feel' that way because our roots are deep enough to hold us secure when the thoughts of doubt begin to emerge - and they will emerge! Doubt is not really the enemy of trust (faith), though. I have often reminded myself that if doubt is there, then full trust is just waiting to take hold.

I remember an exercise in a leadership training session. We had to pair off, then we had to turn our back to our partner, cross our arms, and fall backward into their arms. I recall a peer who just wouldn't do it - she just couldn't 'trust' that her partner would be able to catch her. Why? She saw herself as 'too much' for her partner to handle. I guess we all get to this place from time to time where we see our circumstances or needs as 'too much' for God to handle, but the truth is that nothing we do or are is 'too much' for God. Eventually, she bowed out of the exercise because she never could get to that place of trust - fear overwhelmed her 'emotions' and she just walked away. We have been given the seed, soil fertile and rich, and an 'overseer' that tends the seed until it takes root. Rather than believing our emotions, let's trust the process of faith - a little death, revealing a little growth, then deeper roots, until full trust is developed. Just sayin!


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