The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear? *
the Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1
Think back to a time when you needed to trust someone with something very important. Maybe it was a co-worker or a colleague taking on leadership in a project. Maybe it was with a family member or a friend, like when your teenager took the car on their own the first time. Maybe it was trusting a caregiver to care for an ailing parent or a babysitter to watch over your children.
Whatever example you come up with, I bet your story includes something about having to let go. That's kind of what trust is, isn't it? Letting go of control and allowing someone else to take the wheel. That can be scary - especially when you're being asked to trust someone with something very important to you. It can also feel scary to feel dependent upon someone else. But that's also a part of trust. You have to depend on someone you're entrusting something to. I think especially here in New England, culturally we think we need to be independently strong. We don't particularly like the idea of relying on the strength of someone else. But there are limits on what we can do ourselves. We are often not as strong as we like to think.
Although trusting in and depending on another can feel scary, it is both unavoidable and a great gift. We may choose to believe we can handle everything on our own, but when we allow others to support us, we discover a deep freedom in no longer having to carry any burden alone. A lifewithout trust for others is a life of great stress and loneliness.
Psalm 27 is a great psalm to pray everyday if you're feeling you're losing your own grip. Whenever you're scared, you naturally react by trying to hold on tighter, trying to stay in control. But Psalm 27 reminds us that our own strength is rarely enough when life gets hard, and that God's awesome strength is reliable. It can be frightening to let go and trust in that kind of power, but with spiritual practice and prayer, we can discover that it is sometimes in our own weakness that we finally understand where true strength comes from, and where true shelter in the storm might be found.