The mystery of trust

An Advent reflection

Dec 24, 2014 by

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In times of uncertainty people want visionary leaders. But what if God’s good plan is a period of sustained uncertainty?

This Advent season’s theme from Mennonite Church Canada/USA is “O that you would reveal your mystery.” This theme drips with a longing to know God’s mind. Human trust comes much more easily when we have certain knowledge.

But there is an element of trust that is only learned in the midst of confusion. Following a vision requires trust in the form of courage. But remaining calm while facing the unknown requires trust in the form of quiet confidence.

I have felt the impatient pain of fear. I have felt the anxious pain of uncertainty. And I’ve experienced the terror of confusion, of questioning the possibility that what I once believed to be wrong may not be wrong after all. Trusting in God is not easy. It demands we find ways to feel comfortable with mystery; acknowledgement that God knows more than we are able to comprehend. Our safety is not in knowing right and wrong. Our safety is in trusting the One who does.

I am not afraid of making a mistake. I am not so proud as to think that God’s redemptive plan and activity will be immobilized by my mess up.

God can direct error that is rooted in love for God and neighbor. God can convert our mistakes and wrong decisions into life-giving opportunities. But rejecting God’s possibilities is cemented in judgement that offers few options other than destructive crumbling.

I want to help create an environment that gives the Spirit of God the most ease of movement. So where does this lead us?

I cannot imagine that which only God sees. But I can surrender to God’s vision.

Willard Metzger is executive director of Mennonite Church Canada. He writes here, where this blog post originally appeared.

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