Our culture builds security and trust on individuality. If you think about it, the whole notion of the American Dream is undergirded by the ideology of individualism—where the individual controls his or her own destiny and future. Therefore, their ingenuity, creativity, shrewdness, courage, intellect, labor, and risk steer the course of their lives. Successes and failures, rises and falls, are predicated on the individual trusting in themselves and either becoming stuck or determined to rise above the fray, obstacles, hurts, heartaches, and set-backs of life.
I think one of the things individualism has taught us, is that it is easier to trust ourselves than it is someone else. However, it has also taught us how weighty trust can be. Have you ever felt the weight of the placement of trust? When it comes to a decision about which school to attend, who to marry, what vocation to enter into, what job to take, what house to buy, do I say this or that, how do I handle this situation, do I confront them or do I stay silent, how do I discipline my children, or do I leave or do I stay. These are all weighty decisions, which fall on the individual making them. We have all experienced the weight of having to make a decision as a result of our situations and circumstances. There are times where we sense we made the right decision; there are also those times where we feel as though we made the wrong decision.
Now, have you ever thought about the other side of trust, the side where we are not in control of the decision? Have we ever had to trust a parent to let us go on a trip, a spouse to decide to stay, a friend to vouch for our integrity, a boss to support our position, a company not to lay us off, or an organization to hire us? During these times, the weightiness of our situations and circumstances are displaced upon the other party who holds the decision. This exposes our vulnerability, helplessness, and hopelessness. Therefore, while the majority of people love (to a certain degree) individualism, where they are in control and the weight of their lives and decisions rests on them, there are times where individualism exposes the emptiness, helplessness, and skepticism of trusting others.
Obviously the concept of trust, something that is intangible, becomes a weight that is spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally tangible. We can feel the weight of situations and circumstances that are either in our control or not. And the most important question we can ask ourselves is: Who do we really trust? Who are we placing the weight of our situations and circumstances on? Who are we placing the weight of the emptiness and helplessness of our situation on?
The truth is, if we place it on ourselves we bear the weight and the burden all by ourselves. Sure, we can make the right decision, but we can also make the wrong decision. And if we choose to do it in our own power, strength, wisdom, and control—we bear the responsibility and the weight all by ourselves.
On the other hand, if we place the weight of trust on others, they too are human, which can lead them to make the right but also the wrong decision. And this can lead to much worry and anxiety because you wonder if they have your best interest at heart, what are they thinking, will they do the right thing, or will they hire me. That is not a fun place to be.
The other choice we have, we can displace our trust on our Father. God our Father is the sovereign King over the universe. He is omnipotent and omniscience; he is all- powerful and all-knowing. He is holy, perfect, righteous, gracious, merciful, and just. He is the author of the history of the world as well as our lives. The Bible says that we can cast our cares upon him for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Paul says that we should not be “anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). Jesus tells his disciples if God takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, will he not take care of you as well? He tells them to redirect their worry, anxiety, and their trust onto “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matt 6:33). Furthermore, a reading through Psalm reveals that the psalmist placed his trust into the hands of God in many different situations. Psalm 33:21 the psalmist writes, “For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.”
When we shift the weight of our trust on the Father, we make decisions based upon his character, attributes, nature, and wisdom—not ours. And because we shifted the weight of our trust on him, we allow him to make decision in and through us. Are the decisions still weighty and pressure-packed? Of course. Are making some of those decisions still easy? No. However, by shifting the weight of trust to him—living and making decisions according to him—we have relinquished our control (our individualism) and placed it with him. This is freeing even if there are times that what he asks us to do makes no human logical sense.
In addition, when we shift the weight of our trust on the Father, we do not have to feel so empty, helpless, hopeless, and skeptical about our situations and circumstances. We know that God is in control, he loves us, and he will come through. We do not have to worry about whether or not the other people have our best interest at heart, or whether or not they will do the right thing; we can place our trust in our Maker, Redeemer, Sustainer, and King. If we can trust him with our salvation, we can trust him in our situation!
So, who do you really trust? No, do not flippantly say God. Do you really trust him? Know that God has always called his people to trust him. He wants your weight. Will you give it to him? Stop trusting in your individuality, and start trusting in his sovereignty.