The walk to our church is just under a third-mile walk that we take three times a week, there and back. The weather has cooled and dampened, but when it's raining, the kids think it is an adventure, bundling up and jumping in the stroller with a thick blanket wrapped around them, I with my umbrella and often steamy cup of coffee, huffing and puffing as I push 60 pounds of kids up the wimpy little hill. (Uh, it's been a while since I've run regularly.) On days when we don't have to worry about the rain, I let the kids run up ahead. I can follow Austen at a brisk pace as she runs with all her might, but River can easily push a 9-minute mile the entire way. I let him run up ahead, since it is all sidewalk, a pretty quiet road, and he is great at stopping when he gets to the church's parking lot.

Just the other morning, he was running up so far ahead that I was beginning to get a little worried. I was just about to call out to him to remember to stop when he got to the parking lot, but before I could say anything, he stopped running and stood there waiting for Austen and me. I was surprised and complimented him, "You stopped even though I was very far behind you. I didn't even have to tell you! You are trustworthy!" 

As we walked into the church, I was thinking about how he probably has no clue what the word trustworthy means, and how I would go about explaining it to a four-year-old. Awesome, because I am horrible at explaining definitions. You'd think as someone who likes to write, I might be able to do this with at least a little less of a struggle, but forget it. So I had to think about it long and hard, and finally decided this is what I would tell him: Trust is when I need someone to do something, and I know that you will do what I need you to do, even without asking you, even when I'm not with you. You are trustworthy, which means I can trust you. You are trustworthy.

Except that that was a few days ago and I forgot to tell him. I should probably get on that.

Thinking about the word trustworthy led me to think about Jesusy-things, since "faith" and "trust" are commonly found words among Christianese speakers. I was thinking about how, as Christians, we are to have faith in God. Because God is trustworthy. And how beautiful it is, in my very simple, explain-it-to-a-four-year-old definition, that he is trustworthy in that sense. Faith, like other words such as grace, is always a word I've heard, so much so that I don't really think about what it means. It's always been tangible, in a sense. Faith. You have faith. You have faith in God. What does that even mean? It means I believe in God, right? I have faith in God, which means I trust in God. That's always how I saw it.

Now I feel like I'm looking at it from a different angle. Are faith and trust interchangeable words? I've never thought about that. I think maybe, but perhaps not all the time. They can be used to mean different things. Faith, perhaps, is something that you just have. Trust, though, is something that develops with time. Does that even make sense? I may have faith in an airplane to get me to my destination without falling out of the sky... but I trust my mother. I trust my husband. 

God is trustworthy.

Which means even when I'm "not there," I can trust him.

Which means even when I'm not exactly sure what life will hand me,
or what direction he's going to take me,
or how a certain situation will effect me, I can trust him.

He is trustworthy.

I don't know if this means anything to anyone else, but it really struck a chord with me. God, you are trustworthy when I'm not there. Even when I have no clue what's going to happen, or how you are going to work, you are trustworthy.

That is such a comforting thought. Just as it's comforting to know that River will stop at a street when I am not there to tell him to stop, it's comforting to know that I can trust God.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Whitney! I think trust and faith are very closely related. We have faith in so many things. We have faith that the red light we are stopped at is going to turn green. We have faith that summer will come after winter, that green leaves will appear on those bare trees. We have faith that God exists, and hears our prayers, and will even answer them.

    I think you could replace the word faith with trust, and it would essentially mean the same thing. :)



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