Here I sit, a nice strong coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, and out of nowhere I am accosted with the notion of ‘trust’, the very thing that our lives revolve around.

If I was to ask you to consider your image of trust what would you see, your parenthood; providing for your children’s every need, the responsibility to do well at work, the transactions that we undertake daily at the local shop, or maybe the friendship that you have developed and built over many years.

Can your image of trust be pinned down by the definition given in the Oxford Dictionary, ‘Trust is a reliance on the integrity, strength, stability, ability, surety of a person or a thing. It is the confident expectation of something, it is hope.’

While your considering what  trust means to you, let me take you on journey which challenged my understanding of trust in a totally unexpected situation. The journey began last April, throw your minds back for a moment and remember the ‘Ash Cloud’ that hit Europe causing one of the ‘largest melt downs’ of European Travel to date. I found myself stuck whilst in transit, from Africa to the UK in Amsterdam airport. What I thought would be a one-night delay turned into a 4-day retreat of a very different kind.

So there I was stuck with millions of other people from across the world, all shops and restaurants closed, no toiletries, no clothes, not able to leave the airport (for security reasons) and to put the cherry on the cake I had finished reading my only book during the flight from South Africa to Amsterdam.

‘It will only be one night and then I’ll be home, right?’ I tried to reassure myself on the first day, but after one long and cold night passed I woke to join hundreds of people in hope of rebooking a flight home. ‘No flights this morning, try coming back this afternoon!’ I was finally told.  I am sure you can feel my disappointment and frustration at this surprising news.   We hadn’t been told anything and I hadn’t seen the news; the ash hit while I was flying.

All I could do is wait…… Day one passed….. Day two passed……..

I was still wearing the same clothes I began my journey in, dirty and waiting to be given my small sandwich  (given out at meal times as long as I was by my roll out bed). I started to realise that things were serious and I might not be going home as soon as I would like.

Day Three……

The situation worsened when passports began to be stolen, thankfully the airport brought out their police presence for the evenings, monitoring our beds while we attempted to sleep. While I tried to get some rest I would occasionally open my eyes to see policemen wondering up and down the long and dark corridors where hundreds of us were ‘sleeping’, it most certainly felt like I had stepped into a refugee camp.

Day Four……

While the situation may have been hard people banded together and it really felt like we had a sense of community, through conversation we all connected asking ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Where are you heading?’, ‘ How long do you think we will be stuck?’ but hope of returning home diminished by the day as the questions changed from polite conversation to, ‘When will it be time to go home?’, ‘When will we be free from the confined space of this airport?’ .

Following my eventual return home, after what felt like four of the longest days of my life, my attentions shifted and thoughts regularly focused on displaced refugees across the world. All of these waiting for home, a comfy bed and something to eat.  I began to hear the refugees questions sound in my head ‘when will the war or persecution stop?’, ‘When will it be safe to go back?’

It was at this point I remembered the people of Israel, who found themselves as refugees for 40 years, wandering in  the pursuit of home (the Promised land).  Like the Israelites all those that were stuck in Amsterdam airport found the hope of returning home growing slim, but as I look back now I see that it was only four days and I cannot image what it would have been like to wonder for 40 years.

In hindsight I look back at the Israelites and see those that through the 40 years pushed on because they realised that the prize was not just a home but trust in the Living God. I see a God that provided manna when hungry, A God that defeated their enemies and brought them out of slavery, and a God that performed mighty miracles.

Back at Amsterdam airport I was faced with the same questions that the Israelites had for 40 years, who, or what do I place my trust in? It was a great challenge in the immediate of the hope to return back to Coventry, but continues to go deeper than that.

Just like the Israelites we need to ask ourselves, is our trust in a God that will allow us to see the fulfilment of his promises in our lives?

If we go back to the dictionary definition, trust is reliance in a strength or stability of a person or thing. When all things seem to be in disarray, Do we trust in a God who is unchanging, who is the beginning and the end, who knows all things, after all He is the Alpha and Omega.   The whole message of the Gospel is about Trust; amazingly we don’t need to know all the answers, we don’t need to have it all nicely packaged up, all God is asking us to do is TRUST HIM! We can place our hope in Him! Even when we don’t understand, when we cant work it out in our own thinking, be assured that we can trust in a timeless God, a God that knows the beginning and the end. We can have the confident expectation that God will ensure His promises are fulfilled in our lives and the world he created!

So with that said a question needs to be asked; What is it then that you put your trust in?

Author: Cerys Duffty