A few years back, I ordered a trendy necklace that was nothing more than an engraved key on a simple chain. I ordered ‘TRUTH’, but when the key arrived, the word inscribed was ‘TRUST’. And I knew. Holding that key, I knew my endeavors in writing One More Truth had less to do with growing my understanding of truth, and everything to do with growing my trust in the One who is the Truth.
I’ve written at least a dozen drafts of this post. Some of them said what I needed to say. Some of them said what I needed to hear. I’m not satisfied until the page shows I’ve heard the truth, and by God’s grace, I’ve found the language to express it.
But what happens when I can’t hear the truth – when I can’t hear Him? What do I do when my questions don’t lead to answers? When it’s the middle of the night and the darkness is stirring every one of my fears, and I just want the comfort of a faith easily explained, how will I respond?
Will I demand the truth be wrangled into something palatable? Or will I trust?
Because the realm of faith is a mystery and I can cram all the knowledge, learning, and truth into my head, but at some point, I will be pressed to admit faith is not an explanation of all the answers, it is an invitation to come close to Jesus and experience Him. Faith is the distinction between mystery and confusion. I don’t have to know all the things to have faith; I have to know Jesus. If I know Him, that is enough. He is enough.
I think about Nicodemus, the teacher who came to Jesus in the middle of the night. He knew a lot, but he still had questions. “How?” he asked. That one word says so much – explain Your wisdom, explain the things that don’t make sense. Give me answers so I understand. Oh, the salvation of answers. Jesus says that’s not how faith works.
“Believe in Me,” He says.
Will I respond by believing before I understand?
I think about Peter, surrounded by darkness, fighting churning waters to come to Jesus, the One who says, “Do not be afraid. I am here.” Peter hears Him, sees Him, but the storm… Fears howl the loudest in the storm. Peter’s instincts are synced with a physical world, and everything he knows and all the forces he feels threaten to drown him inside and out, and only one prayer can do the undrowing. “Lord, save me!”
My understanding of a limitless God is limited – always will be – and yet He will continue inviting me to live in spiritual truth even though I can’t fully grasp it, even though adversity and uncertainty threaten to pull me under. Will I trust Him in the storms of crisis, loss, and pain? When there aren’t words to pray, in my weakness, will I sit with Jesus – the One who saves, the One who is there? Because that is faith enough.
True faith is a humbling experience.
Jesus smears mud on the eyes of a blind beggar – a baptism of living water and dust of the earth – and sight is restored. The beggar, once overlooked, becomes the center of attention and everyone wants to know the who, what, where, and how of the miracle and the Miracle Man. The man with fresh eyes admits he doesn’t know or understand the entire experience, all he knows is he was blind and now he can see. He knows God responds to worship and will – the two hands of trust, faith, and hope. He can’t explain the how, but he believes Jesus is who He says He is.
I confessed this series about having compassionate conversations would require the humility of working on oneself – on myself – but I’d be a fool to believe I can take credit for the work being done. Trust is my work. When I’m being asked questions I can’t answer, when I have questions of my own, when I know the Truth but can’t decipher the truths and lies of a broken world, will I feverishly pursue answers or will I persevere in the paradox of knowing Him and understanding little else?
Many are desperate to hear the right explanation, the real answers, the truth. But far more are desperate to see. When I don’t have the words, will I respond with confident hope in His power and promise? Will I live in the peace of understanding a fraction and trusting God with the rest?
My friend sends me a video of her little boys recreating the lessons of vacation Bible school. The older one says, “Trust Jesus”, and the younger one repeats it, and I watch – wistful and slightly jaded – as they repeat the words for a few rounds. Was it so simple once? I think about the many truths I’ve learned, the ways I’ve practiced truth by living it rather than explaining it. I think of my faith experiences and the times I was afraid, but knew Jesus was there. I think about the many times I’ve had to trust Him because there was nothing else I could do, and I remember His faithfulness over and over again. For what I’ve seen and what I can’t see, what I know and all I can’t know and may never know, the one truth most important is this: Trust Jesus.
Step 4: Respond in truth by trusting the Truth.