In God I trust

In 1956 the motto of the United States was officially proclaimed to be “In God We Trust.” While placing our trust in God can be difficult as well as controversial, people have been doing so since the beginning of human existence, so it is not a new phenomenon. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths” [Proverbs 3:5-6].

Trusting in someone is never easy and is often ephemeral. There is an old saying that states “It takes a lifetime to build trust, but only an instant to lose it.” Trusting in God can prove difficult because we tend to want to look someone in the eye and observe them closely whenever we place our life in another’s hands.

When Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me” [Jn 10:27] he was telling us that we can trust him. His voice is familiar; we hear it and know it. The shepherd knows his flock, recognizing each one as a mother recognizes her infant’s cry. The sheep in turn recognize the shepherd’s voice, distinguishing his voice from all others. They know their shepherd by the sound of his voice and follow him because they trust him.

Some time ago I was diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening heart condition that called for major surgery. Like many who have suddenly been confronted with their own mortality, I was afraid and concerned for the future. But then I read the words “In God I trust, I do not fear” [Psalm 56:11-12]. It was as if all my fear was washed away. I realized that I was and always have been in His hands; that he knew me and loved me and cared for me; that I had nothing to fear because I trusted Him.

I distinctly remember the moments prior to surgery, knowing that I would soon be unconscious and totally dependent for my continued health and existence on the skill and ability of another human being, someone who literally held my life in his hands. I realized at that moment that I was not in control; that in fact I had never been in control, and that was a new and very sobering notion. My life — through all the years I had existed up to that moment — had always been under the control of my Creator. And I trusted Him because He loved me.

It is difficult to trust the knowable; how much more to place our trust in the Unknowable. We trust what we can experience through our senses. It is counter to our nature to place our trust in that which we cannot know, cannot logically deduce, cannot perceive because it is beyond our ability to measure.

But “Love never fails” [1 Cor 13:8].  God is, God is Love, and God never fails. Trust in God because He never fails.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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