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Where Do You Put Your Trust?

It's a precious gift. Many of us regard it as fragile so we guard it like glass. It can be easily broken. It's the top of the list of factors that makes or breaks relationships. We know it when we see it. When we experience it, it feels solid. It may be counted as an honor to receive, not something to take for granted. And we are free to give it or not. It's trust.

I've never been rock-climbing the way this pair is getting ready to do. But it seems to me it would take not only reliable equipment but also sturdy trust in the person to whom you are tethered. It can be difficult for us to discern where to put our trust or even if we put it anywhere or in anyone at all. Yet it is a key ingredient in having the world work. Without it we wouldn't marry or vote or open a bank account or leave our children with a sitter or our pets with a vet or confide in a friend or drive a vehicle or share a single thought. Unless we have experienced or even witnessed it, we don't have a clue about how much we all need it. We sometimes speak of someone who's "got our back," a person upon whom we can depend, a circle of friends within which we know we'll be supported no matter what. That's trust.

Who has shown up for you? What has earned your confidence over the years? Which promises do you believe are credible? Where do you put your trust? Preaching professor Tom Long tells a story in one of his books about a man named Jack who worked as a paramedic and ambulance driver. Apparently when Jack was a child, he was terrified of being in the dentist's chair. When surgery required anesthesia, he panicked until one of the nurses said, "Don't worry. I'll be here right beside you, no matter what happens." When he awoke and saw her with him, he knew he had been given a valuable gift. He could trust her presence and her words. Many years later, he "paid it forward." He responded to the scene of a highway accident in which a driver was pinned upside down in his truck. The man was terrified, crying out that he was afraid of dying. Jack crawled inside the truck in order to reach the man and cradle him as rescuers went to work with power tools to free him. Gasoline dripped down on both men, yet Jack remained calm as he said, "Don't worry, I'm right here with you, I'm not going anywhere."

A precious gift. Easily broken. Yet an essential ingredient in having our world of relationships work. Trust. It's almost Christmas. Through the eyes of faith, we see a God who became what we are: flesh and blood. And with the ears of faith, we hear the words, "Don't worry. I'm right here with you, no matter what happens." Can we, do we, will we trust?

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