“Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” – Luke 23:46
“Do you trust me?” As my children were first being introduced to the pleasure of swimming it took some effort to get them to jump from the ledge into my arms. Standing there ready to receive them as they shook in fear at jumping into the unknown watery world I would ask, “Do you trust me?” In the same way I had to confront my own fears as I waded through the darkness of my own life in 2014. In the midst of a soul-crushing employer, the devastation of my wife’s health, and the overwhelming anguish of my mother’s battle with Ebola, I had to look passages like Romans 8:28 straight in the eye and listen to the voice of God asking me, “do you trust me?”
In the storyline of the Bible, this question pierces to the heart. Will you trust God? In some ways, this question is the very essence of true discipleship. Jesus calls each of us to turn from our former lives of death and sin and turn to a life of following him. That is predicated on this very question: do you trust God? And while the question may be something we want to answer quickly, we should consider Jesus’ life so that we answer it wisely.
Adam and Eve didn’t trust God, so they took and ate the fruit. Abraham failed to trust God and trusted his own cleverness to produce the offspring God was promising. Rebecca and Jacob didn’t trust God’s plan and stole the birthright and blessing of his older brother Esau. Moses didn’t trust God and struck the rock failing to enter the promised land. The Israelites after the Exodus didn’t trust God as they listened to the spies’ report and determined God couldn’t handle a few tall men. Israel continued a pattern of mistrust through the entire time of Judges and instead did everything that was right in their own eyes. David, in stubborn weakness, failed to trust God’s provision for him and seized what was not his then murdered to cover his tracks. His son Solomon failed to trust God’s gift of wisdom and instead lusted after the gods of the nations. The kingdom fell and the track record continues on to this day in all of us: We all fail to trust God.