January 25: trust (Exodus 12-13; Psalm 21; Acts 1)

When I read scripture, I am listening for something in the scripture that speaks to me. It may be a word, a phrase, an entire verse or paragraph. Each time I read a passage, even one that is very familiar to me, I don’t always hear the same thing, and sometimes I am surprised by what I hear and how it gets inside of me and relates to my present experience.

In today’s readings, the one verse that has taken hold of me is Psalm 21:7. For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. Trust. Trusts in the LORD.

I believe this. Today, life is good, and I eagerly and graciously trust in the LORD. And when the circumstances of my life are not so good – even horribly destructive, I know this is also important. But what if I trust in the LORD and day after day my life does not get better but gets worse? How long would I trust – would you trust? And could we trust if the evidence in the moment was not supporting our belief that God is to be trusted?

In the days since returning from Kenya, I have returned again and again to the depth of faith that I witnessed in the people I met. I saw conditions that I wish I had not seen. I think I would be glad to be naive about the great struggles that some people in this world face every single day. But in our two weeks in Kenya, I never heard a Kenyan complain. The only complaining that I heard came from mzungus (white people like me). What I heard from the Kenyans that I met was hope – a kind of hope that left me wondering how this person could have such hope in the midst of the daily circumstances of their lives. I am in awe of those persons that I met who live by faith alone. I have been left to wonder about my faith.

And so, this verse feels very personal today. For Steve trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. I am clinging to this verse today in the hope that I can be as faithful as my brothers and sisters whom I met in Kenya and have come to respect and to love.

Trusts in the LORD – may that be the single greatest witness of my life.

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