The primal sin began with a breach of TRUST: Did God really say you could not eat of any of the trees in the garden? Since that fateful day in Eden, humanity has been on a long trek back to unconditional, unwavering TRUST in God, our Father and Creator. It is, to be sure, the task of a lifetime. But restoration of TRUST is the essence of the Gospel: Unless you change and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The dictionary defines TRUST as a resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or love of another person. The key word here is resting. TRUST enables us to lay to rest our worries, fears and anxieties so that we can repose our concerns, hopes and cares in someone stronger than ourselves. A child has that kind of TRUST in a parent. A believer needs to have that kind of TRUST in God.
Logically speaking, we should be able to TRUST God totally. His integrity, truthfulness, justice and love are infinite. Yet the breach which sin made in our relationship with God remains. It is not an uncrossable gulf — the Lord Himself has provided an array of TRUST-building materials; the Scriptures, the sacraments, the theological virtues. He has given us the example of His saints, all of whom excelled in TRUST.
At first, the success of these holy TRUST-builders might frighten us, Can we really have the same unbounded TRUST in God that Francis of Assisi had when he cast aside even the clothes he was wearing to declare that he had a Father in heaven? Could our TRUST really equal Francis' certainty that the Lord would provide for his every need, from the next meal to safety in the face of wolf or robber or rival? Can we, often so calculating or cost-counting, fretful or fearful, meet challenges and sufferings with a TRUST like that of the Poor Man of Assisi, who sang of God's goodness even as he carried the cross of pain, disappointment, misunderstanding and betrayal?
Yes — because the God in whom we TRUST is the same infinitely loving, merciful, patient God in whom St, Francis trusted! Often we doubt our ability to achieve the TRUST which the saints had because we see only the end of their lifetime striving but miss the effort that went into reaching it. For TRUST is a virtue which needs to be practiced. As we grow in faith by believing, so we grow in TRUST by trusting. Sometimes God asks for "little leaps of faith and "small" acts of TRUST. Then, as we become accustomed to walking by faith and living in TRUST, the Divine Teacher will offer larger, more demanding opportunities to TRUST in Him.
And if we miss the mark — He is still there, as He was for St. Francis. When the Seraphic Patriarch wept and wondered about the future of his religious family, Christ asked; Why are you worried, O little man? Do you not know the Order is mine? When Francis, nearly blind and weary with pain, trembled at the thought of divine judgment, the Lord with supreme kindness offered him an assurance of eternal salvation.
It will be the same for us as we apply ourselves to this task of a lifetime. God will always be there, waiting for us to trustingly make our little and large leaps of faith into His open arms. The reward of TRUST is so great. No wonder the prophet could cry out: TRUST in the Lord forever!