On our last get-away, Darrel and I decided to try something out of character. Instead of scheduling our days, we asked people we met along our way for suggestions of where to go and what to do. Spontaneity on steroids for two people who love a good plan. On one particular hike, we asked a local man where we should eat lunch, and he sang the praises of a local food trailer. He said, “Go, see the Taco Man!” And so, with blind faith, we found the Taco Man and ordered a burrito to share. Standing under the brightly-colored awning, I exchanged a few dollars for a plate containing a large burrito and a shiny, cooked pepper of some sort. I asked, “Is the pepper hot?” With a charming smile, the Taco Man assured, “Eat it! It’s only a little hot, and it’s very good for you. Full of vitamins.” Darrel and I sat and shared the burrito, which was incredible, and in the spirit of our new-found spontaneity, we tried the pepper. Braving the first bite, we turned to see each other’s reaction. Tears! Not tears of yum-yum-deliciousness, but tears of spicy-hot-wow-ness! For the rest of the day, my lips burned and my fingertips and face were tingly where pepper oil had been inadvertently wiped.
We trusted and got burned.
Adam and Eve got a good taste of that lesson in the garden. They bit into the fruit and tasted the disappointment of misplaced trust.
We do the same thing - repeatedly trust, and trust in, things that will ultimately disappoint: weather forecasts, relationships, applause, self-help books, government, checkbooks. We grab hold and shake them like some cosmic 8-ball, or swallow them like a miracle pill, expecting something. Answers? Results? Safety? And instead we end up with lips scalding from the consumption, eyes stinging from the burning hollowness. Harmless things, some even blessings, but trusting in them is a set-up for failure.
In Psalm 146:3-4 we read,
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Trust is tricky, a necessary risk. But the Psalmist makes a great distinction: although we trust certain people (our parents, our spouse, a good friend), we do not put our trust in them. To put our trust in someone (or something), we are pinning our hopes, looking for rescue. No one and nothing apart from Christ is worth that kind of investment. He is, after all, our only rescue – from sin, from death, from ourselves.
He’s the one with the living water that quenches our choking disappointment, who offers the broken-body bread that satisfies the deep hollow places. Whose star-fashioning finger wipes away every tear. The one who keeps His promises, is with us to the very end of the age.
What Jesus offers is trustworthy. So, taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8) His love will never disappoint.