Can God Trust Me? Part II – By Hannah Hay
I have spent that past how many years questioning God’s goodness, doubting him, asking him, “Can I trust you?” I know myself, and I know my heart. I am capable of doing the things that I hate. We all have this capacity. I recently heard a homily by Fr. Mike Schmitz in which he speaks of our “treacherous hearts.” The definition of treacherous is faithlessness, untrustworthy, unreliable. So true. Perhaps the question should be, “Can God trust me?”
I am doing the Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike and we have read through the Book of Exodus , Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Over and over God tells the Israelites, I will be your God and you will be my people. He provides them with everything they need. He gives them the Ten Commandments as part of the covenant, the relationship with his chosen people. These are not rules, they are the things that will help the relationship and the things that will hurt the relationship. As I read, I think to myself, “What is wrong with these people?” God is present with them. He is walking with them, providing for their every need. And yet, time after time they turn on him. They whine incessantly when things don’t go their way. They even complain that he freed them from slavery in Egypt. And then I realize, this is me. I am capable of looking God in the eye, and lying to him. I turn on him when things don’t go my way. I turn away from him and toward my idols on a daily basis. The fact is, he ought not to trust my treacherous heart.
In John’s Gospel chapter 2:23-25, it says, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man.”
God knows our hearts. He knows we are going to deny him, betray him, but he still calls us. He knows we are going to fall , but when we do, he is there. When we are faithless, he is faithful. We when are untrustworthy, he is trustworthy. He knows everything there is to know about us. He gives himself to us, not only in the incarnation, but he gives us everything in the Crucifixion. On the night before Jesus died, to a bunch of people he knows are not trustworthy, he says, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it. This is my body.” At the Last Supper, when Jesus takes bread and wine and transforms it into himself to a bunch of faithless and treacherous hearts, he gives his own sacred and Eucharistic heart. We believe that at every Mass the bread and wine, by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the priests, actually becomes Jesus himself. Jesus himself comes to us in our treacherous hearts and he gives us his Sacred Heart.
Fr. Mike concluded his homily with these words, “In the Eucharist is the heart of our God. A faithful heart that comes to meet our faithless hearts. This powerful heart that comes to meet our weak hearts. This heart that has been beaten comes to meet our broken hearts. This Eucharistic and trustworthy heart comes to abide in our treacherous hearts.”
How can I, with this treacherous, fickle heart dare to question the trustworthiness of my Lord who has given up everything for me? It is sobering. I need to spend the rest of my life not questioning God’s goodness, but rather, asking him to take my heart and make it like his.