GOD WE TRUST
Ever take a good look at the coins we carry around with us? Especially those brass pennies that seem to weigh our pockets and purses down. More than any other coin, they multiply daily and find their way all over the house. We can find them spilling over the top of dressers in the bedroom, in kitchen drawers, and just about everywhere we look. When we finally lose patience we put them in old jars or odd containers until they are wrapped in those little brown coin rolls and brought to the bank. About the only thing we pay strict attention to when looking at our money is the denomination. Like most things we are familiar with we do not consciously notice the In God We Trust inscription that Secretary of State Salmon Chase implemented in 1864. This was an action that followed an appeal made by the Rev. M.R. Watkinson from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania who wrote to Secretary of State Chase in 1861 stating that our country should rightly include recognition of the Almighty God on all coins and currency. In God We Trust still exists on American money 136 years later. This is a wonderful reminder and a visual continuance of a legacy handed down to us even today. Throughout these years, despite the changes such as the separation of Church and State, changes in our schools and workplace on the matter of religion, this inscription has remained alive and well.
On a light note we have all had a laugh or two when we see the signs that are posted in small liquor and Mom and Pop stores proclaiming In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Human nature is such that most of us cannot place trust in people we do not know. Better to be safe than sorry is the unspoken thought behind the signs posted. This says a lot about humanity and where we should be placing our trust.
So what exactly does trust mean? Most of us know what the definition of trust is in a general sense for we apply it to friends, spouses, family members as well as business associates. We are quick to say I dont trust so and so, or I have complete trust in this or that person. What we have to ask ourselves as Catholic Christians is how far does this trust extend? Trust is a firm belief or confidence in a person or Being. Faith in someone or something bigger or wiser than ourselves. Trust is faith. Trust is the giving of oneself in total reliance to another for safekeeping and guidance. And so, when we put our trust in God through our Saviour Jesus Christ we are in essence handing over our lives with unquestioning belief and hope, without fear of the outcome because we know what we entrust is in capable Hands. We have faith that God will give us what we need.
God is our Provider. Putting our trust to the test means that in the worst of times, we wait on Him even though we cannot see the end result. Many times we feel like St. Peter whose trust wavered greatly in Mathew 15:(22-33) when Jesus stretched out His Hand to him and commanded that he walk across the raging turbulent sea to meet Him in a show of faith. This story tells us that unless we have absolute faith that God will supply whatever it is that we need, we cannot expect the blessings that He intends for us.
Consider when we get a pain in our bodies, maybe an ache which does not seem to go away. We lie in bed and contemplate the worst scenarios. We become frightened when we think our symptoms may be indicative of a fatal disease and we begin to think about things like life insurance and what will happen to our families. Then sanity takes over and we call the doctor. Somehow this makes the pain feel better immediately for we know we are going to give that problem to our doctor to solve. And so we go to visit him or her in absolute trust, positive the doctor will help us, albeit for a big fee, and if necessary will give a prescription for our pain. We have faith and trust that we will be given medicine that will not harm but will aid us in getting back to normal. This is our belief. Prescription in hand we go to the pharmacist, again with utmost trust, counting on that person to give the right drugs with the right dosage printed on the label. We have faith that their diplomas are valid and are confident as we swallow the pills or liquids and wait for the ebbing of the pain.
Why are we so quick to place our faith and trust in other humans and yet neglect to place that faith in our God? How much more does God need to do to gain our trust? He has proven without a doubt over and over again that He alone loves us better than a brother or sister, and certainly better than friends who may drop us without a care when we are no longer useful to them. He is our only constant in an ever-changing world. So why do we turn away and make things hard for ourselves? Is it because we have learned to be totally self-sufficient and do not want to rely on anyone? It seems our motto has become I can do it all by myself. But life does have its human limitations. How many of us Catholic Christians have tried in vain to fix a problem and failed miserably? We explore every avenue and finally in frustration appeal to God for His help. We are so caught up in our own sense of do it yourself philosophy that we dont think of God except as a final resort. Then, like naughty children, we fall to our knees to God for His help when we realize we cannot mend our lives on our own only to find He was there patiently waiting all the time, saying Come and trust in me, and I will fix it for you. God has invested heavily in each and every one of us. He thinks so highly of you and I that He sacrificed His Son Who was crucified and shed His Blood in payment for all the sins we commit during our lifetime. If we matter that much, certainly He, our God and our Saviour will take care of us and intercede if we trust in Him solely.
Remember when we were children how we had complete trust in our mothers and fathers? If we broke our favorite toy, were hurt or fearful about something, Mommy or Daddy was the one word that came first out of our mouths. We knew they would hold out their arms to comfort and say, I love you and I will help you. With that confidence we overcame our fears and moved ahead. We knew they would provide for all things humanly possible. Shouldnt we then have absolute faith in our Heavenly Father? This is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of great strength and courage because we realize our human boundaries and look to the Father Who is willing us to come to Him for all that we require. Like the coins we pass along each day with its inscription In God We Trust, we Catholic Christians can confidently proclaim a real life trust in the God Who is our Creator.
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