Do we still trust in God?
Not quite as much as we once did. It seems there is a dedicated group of secularists who are determined to drive out any recognition of Our Creator from public view. This is such a strange development in a nation where each Sunday there are far more people attending church than will watch any Superbowl game. Every Easter my wife and I organize an Easter Egg hunt for our seven grandchildren. Our kids say they eat too much candy, so instead of chocolate or jelly beans we fill plastic eggs with coins for the hunt. This year I decided to use the new Presidential $1 coins. They are a little larger than a quarter and gold in color. When I brought them home my wife and I were admiring the newly designed coins when she asked, “Where is God?”. “What do you mean” I said. “God is everywhere!”. “No”, she insisted. “He’s not on this coin!”. When I looked again I could see she was right. I pulled out a quarter and there next to George Washington was our nation's traditional recognition that “In God we trust”, but on the face of the new $1 coin there was no such declaration. I flipped it over, surely it was just moved to the backside, but no, not there either. “Take them back”, my wife demanded, “we can’t use these!”
It’s odd what you take for granted. Our families, our security, even our God. We just assume He will always be part of the fabric that makes up our nation. I remember the Sunday after 9-11-2001 how full the churches were as we searched for answers. I saw Billy Grahams daughter on one of the talk shows and the host asked her how God could allow such horrible suffering? She replied that it was strange that as a nation we would forbid prayer in school, remove Christmas displays from our town squares, and outlaw any public recognition of God, and then wonder where God is in times of tragedy. If God is far away, who has moved?
Have we really become so modern, so educated, so smart, that we just don’t need to “Trust in God” anymore? I looked at the coin again. I thought of the many Old Testament stories about the Jews wandering in the desert. Again and again they would lose their faith and turn from God. Each time the almighty was incredibly patient, bringing them back to Him, although often only after great pain and suffering. Where, I thought, was our nation wandering ?....and what would be the cost of our failure to recognize our dependence on God. Then I noticed it…there on the edge of the coin was the inscription…”In God We Trust”. It was barely visible to my old eyes without reading glasses, but it was there! Those who would abandon God had not yet won the battle. God had been pushed over the edge, but He was still hanging on!
I could not help but think how much my life was like this coin. Valuable to me and shiny on both sides but with God only at the edges. Maybe filling our churches is not enough. I need to fill my life with ‘Trust in God’ all seven of the days a week. Like our nation, I cannot exclude faith from my daily experience or I will wander….. and wonder, where is God? If a secularist looks at the believer, front and back, and cannot see faith being lived each day, if they must look at the edges of our lives to find God, then we have failed as Christians. If we who claim Christ can keep our trust in Him up front in our own lives, then perhaps one day our leaders will also reclaim His place in our nation’s life.
Deuteronomy 4:7 “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”