Wisdom from Barbara Deal: In the midst of crisis…TRUST
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Today’s post is wisdom from Barbara Deal, which she wrote and shared at a retreat in 2017.
(Note from Tanya: I have had to postpone my trip to Kenya due to the precautions around COVID-19. This message from Barbara about trusting and letting go seems particularly relevant today.)
I’m realizing that nearly everything I’m sharing with you is another way of talking about trusting God. In order to become truly one-pointed, and put the Yearning for the Kingdom of God first in our lives, the active principle that gets us there is trust.
To be hopelessly open is to choose to live in radical trust of God, and trust in the principle that when we put the Kingdom first in our lives, all that we need is added unto us. Then our openness, without the overlays of hope, allow us to get out of the way of what God is bringing forth in our lives, and in the world.
I guess I’m not really as convinced as I sound about abandoning all hope. I know that it seems that there are times in life when we’ve reached our limits, and all we have left is hope. But what if you substitute the concept of TRUST in place of the concept of HOPE.
Let’s try an experiment.
Relax for a moment, and watch what you feel when I say this word:
Hope. Hope. Hope.
Now let that go, and see what you feel when I say: Trust. Trust. Trust.
For me, the word Hope puts me on alert a little bit. It sets me to looking for specific things. But trust….for me there is a letting go when I feel trust.
No need to be in charge, or to solve everybody’s problems. I relax into God’s presence, and God’s will, trusting, and knowing that God has perfect solutions that are so much above and beyond anything I could ask or even imagine.
If we trust God, if we truly trust that God is working out God’s purposes in our lives, why would we need hope? Trust is active participation in letting go and letting God, while hope often gets caught up in looking for specific outcomes, that might not be God’s best outcome. Hope can get in the way.
I learned a powerful lesson in trust from Del Anderson. Del shared with us that the most powerful prayer he had discovered in all his long life, and he was in his mid 80-s at the time, was also the simplest prayer. He told us that when he was facing a major crisis and didn’t know how to begin to solve it, or when someone he loved dearly was ill or facing a great challenge, or even when he became overwhelmed by the constant, ongoing wars and conflicts in the world – so opposite to the God’s Kingdom of love – he had learned to pray three simple words: Father, I’m trusting.
This little prayer grabbed my heart. It isn’t, Father, I trusted you yesterday. It isn’t, Father, I’ll trust you tomorrow. But rather, Father, I’m trusting, right now, in this moment, in this circumstance, in this crisis, in this need.