I’ve never been great at “trust” on command! In the complex dynamical system that is my inner world, it seems that my “trust muscle” just isn’t simple to isolate and exercise like my biceps! It’s not that I have some deep, broken trust in my history–it’s just that real trust seems to arise from many interrelated systems of cerebral and emotional function, both inside of and beyond my full control! I can’t always find the switch to immediately turn on trust! I have always deeply understood the prayer David prayed in Psalm 86:11, “Unite my heart to fear Your name.”

I think the command to “just trust God” sometimes hits me like LAW! It lands squarely on my own performance with the threat of failure and disqualification. (Could this be my rich, young ruler moment—Jesus identifying my huge impasse?) I remember the metaphor I once heard and never forgot: “Law is telling the bald man to grow hair…” (While grace would actually implant follicles in this analogy!) “Just trust…” was all but saying, “Conquer yourself right now,” while I was crying out for help with that very endeavor!

BUT, it has always been the case for me that everything changes when you actually peer into the Scripture (rather than just listening to someone else quote it)! Proverbs 3:5—that oft-refrigerator-magneted Scripture (should I now say “screen-savered”?) says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” There’s my hope! There’s my toggle! There’s my breakthrough! Right here the Bible itself shows me how to activate my TRUST MUSCLE! And—surprise–it’s by a little bit of DEACTIVATION of something else!

Why do I struggle with trust? I DON’T—I was just doing it—expecting it—trying to pull it off—in the WRONG REALM (to be clear—the realm of my own reason, rather than the territory of the SPIRIT)! I needed to retranslate, “just trust in the Lord,” to the following: “Switch your consciousness to another system, where God’s transcendent goodness and all-encompassing wisdom is clearly operative and engage your imagination in marveling at how far His systems surpass your temporal understanding!”

To trust is to ENGAGE HIS REALITY (not just sit attempting to merely engage my own psyche)! HE inspires His own trust! It’s a lot like suddenly seeing THROUGH one of those 3D stereographic pictures and watching the image at first hidden by the pixels vividly appear! It was there all along waiting! You just had to look beyond the surface presentation! THAT is how you “lean not” to your own understanding—you look right through it into His wisdom and cherish that view!

When someone over-simplifies something (as helpful Christians can) and it lands on you like commands of law rather than the empowerment of grace, feel free to go away and seek your own Holy-Spirit aided translation! Look through the surface and see the holographic image of hope! A whole world of Scripture waits to yield for your inner eyes the finer details! And while you deep dive, losing yourself in the sight—you will discover that you are massively, joyously, authentically “JUST” TRUSTING THE LORD—in your own beautiful and personal way!