Mat’s October Letter

I’m really getting into the Psalms at the moment. As a vicar I’m committed to reading them each day as part of my daily prayer. Sometimes that’s easy and sometimes it’s harder work but most of the time something leaps out at me drawing me to God. Psalm 33:20-21Open Link in New Window says this; ‘Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.’

I love this prayerful practice of waiting for the Lord. And I need to practice! My family will tell you that I’m not good at waiting. I’m the one that likes to arrive at the rail station just as the train is due to leave so I don’t have to waste time waiting for it. Waiting for God is important because it says that I’m giving God time and priority. In waiting for God I expect to meet with him, receive from him and be nourished by him for daily life. Waiting for God also says something vital about trusting (v21). Trust is another thing I need to practice.

Bev Sheppard of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, has recently written that ‘the language of trust varies’. Bev’s research found that a manager’s language of trust about their teams is about the reliability of the team. Do they get the job done? Whereas, the team understanding of trust is more about whether they think the manager is being open with them.

So, she asks, what about our trust of God? Psalm 33Open Link in New Window talks about trusting in rather than trusting for; trusting in God’s word (v4), his love (v5), his power (v10) and his timing (v20) rather than trusting for a specific outcome. She goes on to say ‘how we expect God to act often blinds us to what he is actually doing’.

Many of us have been trained and taught to trust in our own self reliance, resources and abilities. We don’t do trusting in, very well. How can we train ourselves to be better at this? The simple answer is by doing it, by taking risks, by waiting for God and trusting that in his great love he will meet with us. And then, crucially we need to act in that trust and step out in faith with him. Not always easy but the psalmist reminds us that God is our all sufficient helper and shield, we can be glad in him because we trust in his holy name. What does that look like in my life, and in yours?

Mat

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