All of the lectionary readings today hinge on the virtue of trust, making me consider how grounded I am in that particular quality of character. First, we have Jacob’s dream at Bethel and the covenant that God had made with him there. “Know that I am with you,” God says, and “I will protect you wherever you go…” (GN 28: 10-22A) Psalm 91 follows with vivid images of God’s protection to which the refrain responds, “In you, my God, I place my trust.” The gospel of Matthew (9: 18-26) has Jesus going with the plea of a father to heal his daughter but also stopping on the way to heal the woman with the hemorrhage with a simple look and the words, “Courage! Your faith has saved you” as she was wondering what would happen if she could just touch his cloak…
Were all these people extraordinarily faithful, saints perhaps in their living, so that God decided to reward them for their saintly behavior? We think of Jacob as special because of his placement in the lineage of Abraham but he, himself, says upon waking from his dream, “Truly, the Lord is in this spot although I did not know it!” His recognition of what was happening came while he was sleeping and his life changed because of it. The psalmist, traditionally thought of – at least for the majority of these sacred writings – as David, was loved by God and also chosen for a major role in salvation history. David’s life was not a seamless following of God, however, but rather a willingness to consider himself forgiven after the recognition of serious failure. And those two in the gospel? A girl and a woman – neither of whom Jesus had ever met – chosen for healing: one because of the faith of her father and the other from her own tentative hope.
What do I take from all this? It says to me today that maybe I am as likely to be healed of whatever defect of body, mind or spirit as anyone. I just need to continually fund the level of trust I have in the power of God that always resides within me and just waits to be activated. That seems today an exercise worthy of being practiced at all times…saying like I mean it: “In you, my God, I place my trust.” Amen.