In what do you trust?

bleeding_woman1Psalm 146

Mark 5.21-43

What do you trust in these days?

Well, if last Tuesday is to be believed, not our clocks. For, at midnight of that day, a second was added to global time. Not surprising, as we tend to trust all sorts of dodgy fonts of wisdom. We look things up on Wikipedia without knows the supposed answer’s source. We rely on agony aunts in magazines to tell us how it is. And we buy on the recommendations from reviews even when we have no idea the motive of the writer.

Well if that wasn’t bad enough, how about relying on a roaring flame and superheating metal which is spinning at very high speeds? Sound pretty fool hardy to me. But nearly everyone here has done exactly that. Because, every time you take off in a passenger jet, there is a point when you are going too fast to stop on the little bit of the runway that is left but you are still on the ground. You are therefore entirely trusting in the aircraft’s engines keeping turning so that you can get airborne.

Well, if do trust the less than trustworthy, why do we not trust in the perfect, the utterly reliable, the person and power of God.

That was certainly not now the mistake of the woman who had been chronically ill with a debilitating disease. She had in the past put her trust in purely human skills but no avail. She had in a way trusted against the advice of the psalmist who tells us not to trust princes and other mortal men who cannot save. Now she was trying out the Son of God and was not disappointed. Since, at the hem of Christ’s robe, she found a cure through trust. Not only that but should found faith through trust and she even found something maybe more valuable.

For Dante, the great poet of the Renaissance, was exiled from his home in Florence, Italy. Depressed by this cruel turn of fate, he decided to walk from Italy to Paris, where he could study philosophy, in an effort to find a clue to the meaning of life. In his travels, Dante found himself a weary pilgrim, forced to knock at the door of Santa Croce Monastery to find refuge from the night. A surly brother within was finally aroused. He came to the door, flung it open, and in a gruff voice asked, “What do you want?” Dante answered in a single word, “Peace.

The woman’s trust that day gave her more than a cure, it gave her a guarantee of future peace – peace of mind – peace of body – peace of soul. Since she now knew that God remains faithful forever.

This was truer for the ruler of the synagogue. Here was a man who would have been a pillar of the local establishment. Moreover here was a dignitary who wouldn’t take kindly to running after some itinerant preacher with a dubious theology. Yet in desperate love for his daughter, he cast aside provincial grandeur and begged the Galilean to help. And help he indeed received. Since his trust was rewarded not only with a cure but possibly a resurrection as well. Put directly, trust leads to faith which in turns leads to peace which then leads onto hope; the hope that God is eternally trustworthy, the hope that God will help and the hope that God will make the impossible entirely possible.

So what do we need to access this utterly reliable source of aid, succour and healing?

Clearly, we to need 100% trust.

Yet that is easier said than done for trust itself has a precursor.  For we need to have courage to trust in the first place.

Yet courage is a conscious act, it is a counter-intuitive decision and it is a persistent and demanding exercise of will. It does not come naturally.

A point made by the story of Marshall Ney. He was Napoleon’s most famous general. Napoleon often referred to Marshall Ney as the bravest man he had ever known. But the great soldiers’ knees trembled so badly one morning before a battle that he had trouble getting on his horse. When he was finally in the saddle, he looked at his knees and said with disgust, “Shake away, knees. You would shake worse than that if you knew where I am going to take you.”

Now that’s a man I really like since he had his own personal trust, faith and hope.  And it was all founded on disciplined courage.

A business executive became depressed. Things were not going well at work, and he was bringing his problems home with him every night. Every evening he would have his dinner in silence which shut out his wife and five-year-old daughter. Then he would go into the den and read the newspaper using it to wall his family out of his life.

After several nights of this, his daughter took her little hand and pushed the newspaper down. She then jumped into her father’s lap, wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him strongly. The father said abruptly, “Love, you are hugging me to death!” “No, Daddy,” the little girl said, “I’m hugging you to life!”

Well that girl shows the love God has for you and me. He, in Christ, wants to hug us back to life. All he asks is for us to have the courage to trust and peace – the courage to have faith and the courage to hope even against hope. For then alone is the impossible of yesterday, the widening possibility of today and a racing certainty for tomorrow.

Dont’ trust me, trust Him!

Amen

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