One meaningful lesson I learned in my Jewish studies is if you are manifesting fear or anxiety, it reveals you are not trusting in God. The fruit reveals the root. “Bitachon” is the Hebrew word for trust, which is different than faith or “emunah”. Faith is more of head knowledge or belief God exists; whereas, trust is a posture of the heart, surrendering action, or a response deep within to God’s will and authority in your circumstances — His control in it all and God’s motivation to benefit you in it all. Challenging circumstances are opportunities of bitachon designed to develop greater holiness in you. Deep calls unto deep. Moreover, faith without action, without trust, or emunah divorced from bitachon, is meaningless. But together, they produce shalom…peace… wholeness… security and other manifestations of holiness. Trust in Adonai. ☝️ He’s got this.
Ever-Blooming Roses Despite Life’s Prickles: Summer Storms
After an unexpected summer storm struck my rose garden, I reflect on the weighted canes drooping with defeat. The once glorious petals litter the ground crying out for vindication. Though not entirely destroyed, each bush whines in the aftermath as they obviously would have preferred a slow steady rain than a fast and furious gusty storm. Given some time, I’m confident such defeated canes will overcome the unexpected afternoon flash. Although they can’t appreciate the drenching rains now, the hot boiling sun will soon stir thanksgiving as they draw on the well saturated roots beneath the steaming heat.
Just as our roses can experience an unpredicted and drowning storm, we too are taken by surprise when Abba Father allows fast and furious storms, like betrayal, abuse, lay-offs, cancer, or death to brew in our garden of life. Upon such devastation, we often whine in their aftermath, “Why me?” or “This isn’t fair, God!” But what if instead, we could raise our canes in praise and say, “I don’t know what You are doing, God, but I trust You!” What if despite such heartache, we could cling to the words of Isaiah 26:3-4, “With perfect peace you will protect those whose minds cannot be changed, because they trust you. Trust in the LORD forever, for in Yah, the LORD is everlasting strength.” Other translations say the “Rock of eternity”.
Sometimes I bravely praise my “Rock” in such storms while other times, I’d rather hide under a rock in my anxiety. I may even look for temporary relief of such unexpected sorrow by hiding in my isolated, secret garden. But during such harrowing times, I am tenderly reminded, “I alone am the one who comforts you. Why, then, are you afraid of mortals, who must die, of humans, who are like grass?” (Isaiah 51:12). Whatever tragedy you face, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:11 or 46:10 in the Christian Bible). After all, our God, our Creator, our Aleph and Tav, knows our beginning and our end and every purpose in between. Breathe in the smell after a saturating storm and choose to trust that God’s still got this.