Chapter 15 — Successful Trusting
There is a kind of giving that sometimes seems harder to practice than any other, but that should be easier; namely, the giving of ourselves. Surrender.
It ought to be easy for me to give to God. To give Him my troubles, for instance, to give Him the responsibility for the result of my efforts. To give Him the care of my interests. To put my fortunes into His hands. To intrust Him with my health. And with my hopes.
It ought to be as easy as it is to give to Him all responsibility for developing the seed that I put into the ground. It should be as easy as trusting Him to keep the boat that I launch afloat. It should be as easy as trusting Him to see that I get nourishment from the food I eat.
But I find it hard to leave to God the responsibility of paying me for the work I do. I am afraid, perhaps, that somebody else besides God is going to have a good deal to say about the pay I get for what I do. Some human being who is unfair or grasping or jealous or ruthless may step in and declare that my work is not good enough, or is not of the right kind, or is not delivered in time, or should not be paid for at all. I am afraid that this person or that person may have more to say about whether I get paid, and how much, than God will have to say. So I worry and fear and despair.
But what is the very essence of a belief in a loving Father? Isn’t it faith that my Father cares about what happens to me? Isn’t it faith that He wants things to be well with me, that He wants me to be well, that He wants me to be happy, that He wants me to be successful, that He wants me to be well paid for what I do? If that isn’t what it means, then what does it mean?
God asks us to do two things, doesn’t He? And only two things. Love and trust. Love Him and His other creatures; and trust Him for the result of loving. What else does He ask or command me to do? Aren’t all the rest of our instructions simply echoes of these? Well, if that’s all I have to do, what’s hard about it? Don’t I merely make it hard by thinking it must all be much more complicated than that? Don’t I make it hard by trying to hang on to something more than that to do? Don’t I cling to the idea that my whole duty cannot be comprised in any such easy, happy, delightful obligations as just loving and trusting? Isn’t it my trouble that I can’t quite bring myself to believe that results will come from just loving and trusting—results in terms of my heart’s desires?
Well, if that is true, then I am not really surrendering to God, am I? I am still hesitant, trembling, afraid; and fear is certainly not trust.
Two articles appearing in Unity have expressed the idea of what trust is in a very wonderful way. One is “Let Go,” by Elizabeth Hill, published in Unity in January, 1930; and the other “Lovingly in the Hands of the Father,” by Evelyn Whitell, published in Unity, October, 1928, and subsequently in book form. The titles of these two expressions of the trusting spirit are in themselves revealing. “Let go” means just what it says. Don’t try to hang on. “Lovingly in the hands of the Father” means putting it in His hands and leaving it there. As a matter of fact, when we have let go and left it lovingly in the hands of the Father, we have gone the whole way in trusting. There is nothing more we can do on that side.
The Bible is packed full of promises of what will happen to us when we trust. In the Moffatt translation—which puts the Bible in modern terms—in the 3d chapter of Proverbs, beginning with the 5th verse, we find,
“Rely with all your heart on the Eternal,
And do not lean upon your own insight;
Have mind of him wherever you may go,
And he will clear the road for you.
“Never pride yourself on your own wisdom,
Revere the Eternal and draw back from sin:
That will mean health for your body and
Fresh life to your frame.
“Honour the Eternal with your wealth, and
With the best of all you make;
So shall your barns be full of corn, and your vats
brim over with new wine.”
What is there that is hard about that? Is it hard to rely with all your heart? Is it hard to “have mind of Him”? Is it hard to “revere the Eternal” or to “draw back from sin”? Is it hard to honor Him with your wealth? And if you will do those things, you are told that He will clear the road for you; He will give you health; He will give you abundant supply.
In the same version of the Bible, in the 62d Psalm, we find,
“Leave it all quietly to God, my soul,
My rescue comes from him alone;
Rock, rescue, refuge, he is all to me,
Never shall I be overthrown.”
But do we leave it all quietly to God? Do we leave it all quietly to God? Our hopes and our fears, our aspirations and ambitions, our dreads and anxieties, our cares and our obligations, our successes and our failures, our tasks and our decisions, our abilities and our inspirations? Do we? How often do you catch yourself worrying about how to talk with some person about some interest of yours that you want to interest him or her in also? How often do you fear that you will say the wrong thing or won’t think of the right thing to say? How often do you worry about the effect of what you have said or done, or left unsaid or undone? Have I made a sale? Have I won a friend? Have I persuaded an opponent? Have I made an enemy? Does that person like me? Will this person slander me? Shall I get credit for this piece of good work? Shall I be unfairly blamed for that? Shall I have enough money to pay my expenses next month, or next week, or tomorrow, or tonight? Can I afford to help this beggar? Can I take that vacation trip? Have I made a fool of myself? How can I meet this stranger? What do people think of me? How can I face this disappointment? What if so-and-so happens? Am I going to take cold? How can I stand that noise? Oh, if I were only anywhere else than here! Why haven’t I the opportunity that this man has—or this woman? Why wasn’t I born with outstanding ability? Is there really a God? Does He really care for insignificant, unworthy, worthless me? Are these the questions that are constantly seething in our mind?
When we turn over and over such thoughts as these, or thoughts like them, what are we doing? Well, whatever we call it, it certainly is not trusting, is it? Wouldn’t I say, if I really were trusting, “Leave it all quietly to God, my soul”?
Real trust means going all the way, leaving it quietly to God. An old book called “The Christian Secret of a Happy Life,” by Hannah Whitall Smith, has an inspiring thought in it. Trust, to that author of beautiful thoughts, means complete abandonment. Complete abandonment of all interests to God. She says that we should pay no attention to how we feel about it. Emotional sensation, as we might call it, has nothing to do with it. We just trust, that’s all. We leave it all quietly to God. We abandon our interests to—God’s care. And since He has said that He will look out for them, and keep them safe, and forward them for us, why, they will be looked out for, kept safe, and forwarded no matter how we happen to be feeling about it.
If I had some money to deposit in the bank, would it make any difference so far as the safety of that money is concerned whether I happened to feel enthusiastic, or a little “low,” at the moment when I deposited it? Well, what difference does it make how I feel when I deposit all my cares with God, so long as I deposit them?
The secret of successful trusting, letting go, lies in leaving it lovingly in God’s hands, in relying with all our heart, in leaving it all quietly to God-doesn’t it? In abandon? No matter how we feel? Try it. One sure thing is that it is the secret of peace. It is the secret of efficiency. It is the secret of power. It is the secret of achievement up to the limit of our possibilities. I can only do my best, when I have peace of mind. I can have peace of mind only when I stop worrying. I can stop worrying only when I have hope. I can have hope only when my interests are safe. And my interests are safe only with—God.