I admire the unflinching courage of a blind person walking down the street with unseen dangers all around, from a steep curb to a child darting into his path. Real trust in God is often called blind trust, but what, precisely is blind trust? It is being able, with the support of grace, which serves like a blind person’s cane, to put one’s total, and I mean total, full, all, everything trust in God.
Yet most of us begin by surrendering our problems to God for only a little while (or giving only certain parts of the problem to him, while hanging on to parts ourselves); then, when things don’t go the way we think they should, we take back our problems. Maybe what we want doesn’t come as soon as we think it should. Or maybe things are not going the way we hoped. Or maybe we try to help God along with too much of our human intervention. We’re like children giving a broken toy to our father to repair, but then taking the toy back before it is repaired.
In this situation, God isn’t left free to work out his magnificent plan for our lives. Our fluctuating responses reflect spiritual instability. The antidote to this instability is found in Isaiah: “Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock” (Is 26:3-4, emphasis mine).
In the face of such instability it behooves us to recall the inspired advice of Sirach: “Trust in the Lord and he will help you. Make your ways straight and hope in him” (Sir 2:6). If we fluctuate in typically human instability, we can’t “make our ways straight,” and hence we negate any trust that we may have had before we began to vacillate in our resolve to rely on God.
Asking God for something is like using a credit card: When we ask for something, we hand over the card. As long as he has it, he can work. However, when we take it back, for whatever reason, he has to stop working and wait for us to hand back the card. In addition, when we try to help God out, it’s like taking the credit card from him and jamming it into the machine the wrong way; nothing can be done until we take our hands away and let God work! Often, before he can start again, he has to fix the mess we made!
Blind trust requires us to be like a horse in a burning stable. First the horse’s eyes must be covered before he can be led out safely. Sometimes God covers our eyes; he doesn’t explain what’s happening to us or where he is leading us. When he leads, we must blindly trust him to know what he’s doing! If he were to explain it to us, it might scare us, just as the fire, if seen by the horse, would panic the animal; then we wouldn’t confidently follow his leading.
God loves us and wants to help us with all of our problems. All we have to do is let him! Even the little problems matter to him; he wants to help! We know that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. If only we could consistently realize how much better off we would be if we put our total trust in him and let him do for us what he knows is best!
This excerpt is from the book Pathways of Trust, by John H. Hampsch,C.M.F., originally published by Servant Publications. It and other of Fr. Hampsch's books and tapes can be purchased from Claretian Teaching Ministry, 20610 Manhattan Pl, #120, Torrance, CA 90501-1863. Phone 1-310-782-6408.