Trusting in God Makes Sense

Be on the lookout for his actions in your life

My dad smiled and said, “Michael, it’s time for the training wheels to come off your bike.”

I was only 6 years old, and as I watched my dad pull out his screwdriver and quickly dispatch my “mobile security blanket,” my heart filled with both trepidation and trust.

God has a particular plan for each of us, and everything that happens in our life he either allows or commands.

Trepidation for the risk of a major crash as I careened down the driveway for the first time; trust because I knew that my dad would be close by. He balanced my bike for the first few seconds and then gave me a gentle push forward, and after a few wobbly moments, I began to peddle and the adventure began.

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God is our Father. He has a particular plan for each one of us, and absolutely everything that happens in our life he either allows or commands. It may seem, at times, that he has taken away our security blankets, and we can feel alone, but God is a loving Father who is always close by, and he is ready to pick us up whenever we fall. My older siblings, Tom and Deb, have been incredible examples of total trust in God’s loving plan.

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Tom is currently the engineering program manager for full size vans at General Motors. He has been married to an incredible virtuous wife, Ann, for over 30 years, and they have five children.

He could have easily asked God, “Why me?”

He and Ann decided to tithe (giving 10 percent of their paychecks to charities) from the beginning of their marriage, as a practical way to give back and affirm their trust that God would provide and make up for their generosity.


This trust was tested when they discovered their first child, Lia, was born with Down syndrome, and later when his fifth child, Nick, contracted autism early on. He could have easily asked God “why me?” or allowed resentment and bitterness to penetrate his marriage and family life. His response was one of patience and deep faith, which culminated in his recent ordination the Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Detroit. This process transformed a type A, impatient older brother into an example of kindness and deep virtue. I am truly blessed to have such a holy and faith-filled older brother!

Deb contracted rheumatoid arthritis at the tender age of 5. She still remembers running the beaches of Lake Huron as a little girl and then rapidly losing this capacity to both run and even walk.

The only time I saw her cry was when she came back from a dance in high school and I happened to see her joyfully say goodbye to her friends. But as soon as the door shut, tears poured down her face.

She did not realize I was there, so I found some tissues to wipe her face and asked her what was wrong.

She said, “Don’t worry, Mike, it’s just kind of tough to watch all of your friends have fun dancing with the guys …” But then she gave me her classic smile and said, “I’ll be fine.”

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A few months later, I asked her to type out my fourth grade autobiography, without realizing that her doctor had told her not to type more than two pages a day. The next morning, four perfectly typed pages were sitting on the kitchen counter with a little note: “Dear Mike, I hope this is ok. Love, your big sister, Deb.”

I felt badly at dinner when I noticed her eyes were bloodshot from having stayed up all night to get this done. She did it with great love and did not want me to see how much it cost her.

Later, when my sister was in college, my dad had a gut feeling during a Michigan blizzard that my sister was in trouble. He immediately called her roommate. She told my dad she was worried about Deb, who had not yet returned from classes.

He may not prevent bad things from happening, but as a loving and concerned Father, God immediately takes action to bring some good out of it.

My dad and I jumped in the car and soon found my sister stuck in a snow bank with 2 inches of fresh snow covering her body. My dad wiped the snow off her face and my sister said with a big, shivering smile, “Dad, I just knew that you would come to save me.”

Besides a successful career with Social Security, where she recently received an award for the being the “handicapped employee of the year” for the entire U.S. government, Deb has been happily married for over 35 years to a wonderful husband, Steve, and they have adopted and raised two foster children. They continue to be a strong source of inspiration for my priesthood.

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In Romans, St. Paul wrote that “God brings good out of evil for those who love him.” He may not prevent bad things from happening, but as a loving and concerned Father, he immediately takes action to bring some good out of it.

Trusting God can be a little challenging at times. We may not always see where things are going, but just because he takes off the training wheels and gives us a shove down the hill does not mean that he is not close by. He accompanies us every step along the way, and we need to be on the look-out for his paternal actions.

Your docility to God’s plan can make a huge impact on your siblings, your children and every one God has placed in your life. Trust Him!

Fr. Michael Sliney, LC, is a Catholic priest who is the New York chaplain of the Lumen Institute, an association of business and cultural leaders. 

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