When, in the past, I have heard Jesus’ invitation to me to trust him and to not worry, there always seems to be some part of me that holds back. I never was very good at a “trust walk” – being blindfolded and letting someone just lead me around, blindly trusting I won’t walk into something I couldn’t see. I assume it is the very human part of us that clings to our survival instinct. In fact, when I reflect on it, worry is the way I protect myself from getting hurt, but it is also the way I look ahead, the way I foresee concerns, danger. It is the way I solve problems and imagine solutions. “What are the threats that are out there?” In fact, to not worry almost seems to be unconcerned about the things that I ought to be concerned about.
It takes me some deeper reflection to get into these readings and to hear the invitation more deeply, more personally. I don’t think Jesus is telling me not to be concerned about anything, any more than Jesus is telling us not to care about paying our bills or providing for our daily needs or our future security.
The first part of the consolation comes from Isaiah 49. God’s love for us compared to a mother’s love for us. A healthy mother simply always has tenderness for the child of her womb. Our God has tenderness like that for us. The power of the next life is very consoling: “Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” I need to walk around in that these days and let it soak in and comfort me. The bond, the connection, the care, the tenderness of God for me is there. I need to let myself feel it more deeply.
I need to walk around these days saying the words of Psalm 62: “Rest in God alone, my soul.” “He alone is my rock and my salvation. … Trust in him at all times.” Oh, how I try to rest, rely, take comfort and shelter in so many other places, in so many other places of refuge! In those places where I regress or where I protect my vulnerability, I need to say, right in that situation, “Rest in God alone, my soul. Just rest. Just let go and find comfort and care in God alone, instead of any other escape, any other pattern.”
(Adapted from Andy Alexander, SJ)