“We trusted.” Luke 24:21
I have always felt so sorry that in that walk to Emmaus the disciples had not said to Jesus, “We still trust”; instead of “We trusted.” That is so sad—something that is all over. If they had only said, “Everything is against our hope; it looks as if our trust was vain, but we do not give up; we believe we shall see Him again.” But no, they walked by His side declaring their lost faith, and He had to say to them “O fools, and slow of heart to believe!”
Are we not in the same danger of having these words said to us? We can afford to lose anything and everything if we do not lose our faith in the God of truth and love. Let us never put our faith, as these disciples did, in a past tense—“We trusted.” But let us ever say, “I am trusting.” (Streams in the Desert)
“Not at every moment of our lives, Heaven knows, but at certain rare moments of greenness and stillness, we are shepherded by the knowledge that though all is far from right with any world you and I know anything about, all is right deep down. All will be right at last.” (F. Buechner)
I remember pulling to the shoulder of the Interstate overwhelmed by what I had just witnessed. It was the sort of thing that parents don’t prepare to see but all-too-often do. My daughter was hurting from the inside out, and what I saw on the outside threatened to crush the life from me. It left me too dizzy to think straight much less navigate a car down a busy highway, so I simply diverted to the shoulder and put the car in park. Toxic helplessness poisoned my thoughts, and I balled like a baby, succumbing to all the worst case scenarios I could muster. How could life ever right itself? How had I come so close to losing her, without recognizing the downward spiral? Was this one more in a long line of failures that rested squarely on my shoulders?
My response was not overtly spiritual, and certainly wasn’t commendable. I wish I had prayed with bold faith and confidently pulled back onto the road with a clear mind and confident spirit, but I did not. I sat and cried, and questioned, and doubted, until I finally prayed out loud, “Father, I don’t know what to do and, to be honest, I feel like there is nothing You can do. But I am desperate. There is no hope apart from You. Please save my child.” Praise God—He did.
Desperation is a solid foundation for trust. Trust admits we are helpless to alter the outcome, and gives God space to flex His muscles on our behalf. When we come to the end of ourselves the Father reassembles the broken pieces into a beautiful pattern we could not have conceived in our wildest imagination. Trust is the portal for transformation.