There are very many advantages to trusting God. As Ibn Pakudah worded it in his Introduction to Gate 4:
One who trusts God serves no one else but Him …. He does not seek the approval of others, nor does he flatter them or agree with them …. And he is neither frightened of them nor intimidated by their arguments. He eliminates the straight-jacket of the need to satisfy them, and the burden of the need to thank them or repay them.
Wouldn’t we modern-day slaves to the approval of others do well to learn a lesson from this? He goes on:
The worldly advantages to be had from trust in God include: freedom from worldly cares, and the tranquility that comes from the lessening of physical desires …. He lives in perpetual repose, security and tranquility…. One who trusts God enjoys the peace of mind and well being that comes from not having to do arduous and exhausting labor. And he no longer needs to be loyal to kings and their laws, or to their looting underlings. He is satisfied with an easy profession that earns him a good reputation that allows him enough leisure time to reflect and fulfill his obligations to study Torah and do the other things he must do…. He has very few professional cares, even when his product does not sell, when he cannot collect money owed him, or when he becomes ill. For he knows that the Creator controls his affairs rather than he …. And finally, he is pleased with everything, even if it goes against his grain. Because he trusts that God would only do what is best for him all the time, like a loving mother who bathes, diapers, dresses or undresses her child whether he asks for it or not.”
There’s trust and then there’s naiveté, to be sure. But the truly sophisticated student and adherent of trust can’t help but be inebriated by the freedom allotted by such blithe trust in God Almighty.
(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).