A week or so ago, I had an intriguing revelation about this very familiar statement.
Now I am back in the USA, and safely home if not impressed with America anymore, so these words are ever returned to my life. I figured I would share my ideas with you although they are redundant at one point and not entirely coherent......
So I begin that an English class I am taking suggested when we analyze images in a literary context that we also take into consideration what isn't there.
So it's obvious to draw the conclusion that trusting God applies to our circumstances, and recognizing that God is reliable through these. When times are good, it is simple to trust God to provide, but trusting suggests we also rely on his wisdom when things are not going well or as we had hoped. Trusting God affects our every response to the world around us.... and I think most of us have considered this concept before.
The Star Spangled Banner ends:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
...and we may have not have heard these words recently but we get the idea.
At the same time, many, I might point a finger on scientifically minded people, don't feel that there is a God to trust. They rely on riches, abilities, personal understanding, quality relationships with others, routines, resources, ignorance, our own desires and impulses. So many practically worship celebrities, musicians, polititions, and sports stars. Much like the rest of us only to a slightly greater extent.
So in my recent enlightenment, I realized that the above things are not there. We say in God we trust, not In the things I can see I trust. These sorts of things are a missing component altogether to the "picture" if i can draw back to my idea of considering what is not there.
^Have you ever thought about this? All the things that arent listed as trustworthy in the phrase "In God We Trust"?
If I steal words of the men deciding this motto as they wrote back and forth, "No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins."
If I can play with this idea, trusting God means,that these other things are not so critical. Sure they might be there, but they are not first, because we have God in whom we trust first.
We might have riches, a foundation on which we feel safe and a resource on which we rely, but above this, we trust God to provide for our needs. The money might be stolen, spent, or whatever, but we trust God... first.
The same applies that we might have abilities. You might be able to sing very well, however above this skill, is God. God is the only way they we can sing at all. God is there even when our skills begin to be neglected or unimportant.
It was a quote by someone named John Newton that encouraged my thinking. It said "It is no less difficult to have great abilities than great riches without trusting in them".
So I went through and thought about these things in the context of trusting God. I thought about the qualities of God as well and the logic of trusting such a God.
I believe God is just, so I never should need to feel things are unfair or unreasonable. God will set wrongs right and properly finish all things. Its hard to apply this trust especially as I realized, as a greedy, selfish American who wants convenience and service as soon as possible.
I believe that a God is loving, that he has good things in store for me. I thought about Jesus. God sent Jesus to die as payment in my place as I could not restore my fallen state. I thought about the fact that I could never please God without repenting, and the perfect Heaven in store for me and my Christian family because we have embraced Jesus. Thats love.
Similarly I pondered that God is loving, caring, forgiving, understanding; that God is the best there is. I thought about the wisdom of God. That even when I dont know what is going on, God does because he is all knowing.
That God is so powerful. He is capable of redeeming us from certain death, of setting the world in motion and govorning it from his sovereign place of authority.
I thought of the way God brings new life-- renewing us and the things around us.
He is a solution to every problem, a defender when we are weak and forgiver when we wish to repent.
Finally that God is just. We would not want to trust an unjust God and ours has never taken back or changed his plans. Those who chose hell over God will get there desire in full and those who love God will soon suffer no more. No gray, just black and white.
There are a lot of people out there who do not trust God very much at all. I don't try to make the claim that I am very good at applying trust to my life, but I can think about the need to restore the trust, to restore the relationship of every human on the planet... and in this, it is very clear that Americans do not trust in God.
I have spent a week in a culture of happy religious people, where everything closes at 5 and no one complains if the electric doesnt work til 3pm (Only the tourists ran for wifi) and therefore no A.C. in the 91 feels like 108 heat. These people are not shaken if there is an earthquake or they dont have hot water ever or they have to walk 8+ miles every day. This was a people of community but also relationship with God, of self sufficiency but also constant connection with the God who provides them with beans and rice and fresh fruit and coffee to eat and drink respectively. This was a people unlike Americans and I just wanna go back lol. I miss my mama tica and miss her trust in God.
Strange right? You would think it would be Americans who live up to our own motto. Just a thought.