I’m curious what trusting in the Lord amounts to in the lives of BCC’s readers.
I hadn’t thought about it much myself until a relative shared the following anecdote. The family was out shopping when the kindergartner asked if it would be possible to stay in the car with Jesus. No, came the reply which the child protested, “But why! He always watches over me and keeps me safe!”
Certainly the child’s experience aligns with scripture and modern revelation where we learn that trust in the Lord may result in release from prison and a new start at life; enlightenment and joy; a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence; freedom from debt; an abundance of missionary opportunities; and comfort when sorrow, misfortune, or tragedy strike. And according to Nephi, trust in the Lord pays remarkable dividends—”God will give liberally to him that asketh,” including, no doubt, protection from harm or incident in a well-lighted suburban parking lot. At least it wouldn’t facially unreasonable to expect such protection since according to the testimonies of the prophets the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, omnipotent, mighty to save, with all power in heaven and earth.
But in the end, the child wasn’t permitted to remain in the car with Jesus, a development that despite the foregoing didn’t strike me as particularly unreasonable. I mean, I have a child about the same age and I’m sure not going to leave her in the car alone—do I even need to explain why? But why would trusting Jesus with my child for a few minutes be a bridge too far while trusting that events thousands of years ago made possible our reconciliation with God be a viable way to structure my life?
I haven’t figured that out yet, but I have a couple of ideas. Maybe the proximity of potential negative consequences looms greater in the former case than in the latter, causing me to go ahead and use my fleshy arm to drag a wailing child into the grocery store for a stress-filled round of shopping. Because I’m short-sighted, I’d worry more about a kidnapping or concerned citizens calling the police than I would about the state of my soul before the judgment bar.
Then again, maybe acting in the here and now to be a responsible parent when it would be easier to live life footloose and fancy-free evinces trust in the Lord that there’s some long term benefit to, say, keeping one’s young offspring within arm’s reach. I mean, it’s not like the people in the accounts linked to above did nothing as a result of their trust in the Lord; on the contrary, they beavered away and helped create the conditions for good things to happen. How does that saying go? “Pray as though everything depended upon God. Work as though everything depended upon you.” So trusting in the Lord doesn’t mean being a passive participant in your life, though it’s still not clear to me where the line between trusting in the Lord and the arm of the flesh is or should be drawn.
To date the only conclusion I’ve drawn is that “Because I trust in the Lord” is not the conscious reason for much of what I spend my days doing. It’s kind of sobering in light of what I would consider my fundamental trust in the big Gospel picture, actually, so I’m thinking about how to better align the mundane decision of daily life with my conviction that there’s a good reason for doing so.
Anyway, how about you? What does trusting in the Lord look like in your lives?