In God We Trust. It has been minted on coins since 1864 and printed on paper currency since 1957. How many of us really trust God? I admit that I struggle with trusting God completely every day.
When I was a teenager I treated God like a formula. I would say to myself or others, “I don’t need to pray, it doesn’t work. If it did, I would believe.”
I came of age during the mid-1980s, a decade that promoted greed for gain. My goal was to increase my power. Money gave me the power to control people, so it was a means to an end.
Over the years my life would be spared by a number of seemingly “lucky” incidents. Even after I quit the life of crime in 2004, I still looked back on my life and thought I was just “lucky” to have survived.
I had no idea what I should do with my life in 2004 so I reverted to greed to get ahead. I also vowed to be a good person and do the right thing.
I felt I was on the road to success. I wrote a book, I sold it to a major company. I wrote a screenplay with an Oscar-winning writer. I got on television and I was going to be on a reality show. Even with all this, my life was empty and I wasn’t happy. I was headed toward another major crash in life. I had recently married a woman who was everything I ever dreamed. Yet, with the way I was, I would have blown my marriage like I had everything else in the past. In my old life, anytime anything did not go my way, I would just cut my losses and walk away. Try again.
I felt the need for something different. The way I was living had let me down again and again. It was Christmas time, and I felt drawn to the church. I told my wife I’d like to attend a Christmas Eve service, and we both thought of the same church in San Marino that we had walked by one time. It was in that church in San Marino that I found God. I didn’t understand it at the time, but he had been with me the whole time, since I was a kid. I had just never opened my heart to him, I had been trying to do life my way instead.
Now that I made the decision to live my life for God instead of myself, I had a lot to learn. We began not only attending church and Sunday school, but also any Bible study classes or teaching events the church offered. One day I was listening to someone speak and he said, “My wife and I prayed about it, and then we received our answer from God.” This opened up my mind to the possibilities of prayer. So my wife and I prayed together about what we should do in our lives.
This was the first time I put my trust in God in many years. We did get a clear answer to our prayers, God opened several doors and closed several others and we decided to leave Los Angeles. We set a date seven months away, when our lease was up, and began planning the big move.
Our commitments and jobs paralleled our moving timeline and God provided the things we needed financially and otherwise.
We trusted in God. Sometimes it was easy to trust because life was going our way. The next few months would be harder to keep our faith strong, but we worked at it each day. While things seemed to fall in place when we arrived, times got tougher and it’s still a work in progress. We have to remind ourselves that God’s timing is perfect and it is not about what we want, but what He wants.
When David wrote in Psalms 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” he was writing from experience because he was a shepherd. He knew that you must constantly watch out for the sheep, or they would get into trouble. A good shepherd provides them with good land to graze and clean water to drink. He also must guide them.
Do you trust in God? Is he your shepherd or are you trying to find your own way? Not sure? It is when our beliefs are equal to our actions that we are trusting God.
How can we share with others what it means to trust in God?