“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you ever remember doing the “trust fall” when you were a child? You would close your eyes and slowly fall back, trusting that the person behind you would in fact catch you and not let you hit the floor. A rush of adrenaline would surge through your body as you fell, and relief would sweep over you as you were caught just in time. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t very good at this game. I loved being on the receiving end, catching someone who would fall back, but I dreaded the fall itself. Even from a young age, I struggled with the idea of trust. I never wanted to be blindfolded and led by someone else. It made me feel reckless and out of control. I wanted to be the one in charge. What if I fell? What if I tripped? I constantly feared the unknown, so I just assumed it better to be in control than to leave my “fate” in the hands of someone else.
I persisted in life with this mentality, always seeking to be in control, yet at the same time knowing full well that God is ultimately in control of all things. My feeble attempts to maintain control in my life were done in vain. Simply put, human control is an illusion. God alone is sovereign, and it is His will that prevails, not our own. Unfortunately, I had to learn this truth the hard way, time and time again. Every time I thought I had found the path for my life based on my own understanding, I would run down it only to find another dead end. Every wrong path pointed me back towards the truth that I learned when I was just a child: “Trust in the LORD”.
When Proverbs 3:5 says “do not lean on your own understanding”, that’s exactly what it means. What you can see and discern is just a glimpse of the greater picture that God has designed. He’s only revealed a certain part of the picture to you so that you are required to trust in Him. Choosing to acknowledge God, His Word, and the wisdom from His people in every area of our lives ultimately leads to straight paths. When we relinquish control and allow Him to lead, He makes our paths straight. All of the things that we can’t imagine working themselves out…He orders each one perfectly. It’s when we refuse to do so that we find ourselves striving, stressing, and sinking.
The good news is that today’s Scripture is not difficult to understand. It’s applying it that requires the hard work. Trusting the LORD is a choice, one that you and I can make daily. In the morning when you rise, trust the LORD. Mid-day when you face temptation, trust the LORD. In the evening when you’re tired and weary, trust the LORD. When you lay your head to rest, trust the LORD. Even when you can’t see and you’re afraid to let go, fall back into His arms. The more we trust Him, the straighter our paths become.
1. Are you one who prefers to be in control or is it easier for you to trust? Why?
2. In your own life, how have you “leaned on your own understanding” only to see that it did not benefit you to do so?
3. Using Proverbs 3:5-6, journal a prayer to the LORD, committing today to Him, choosing to trust Him with your every step, and asking Him for the grace to enable you to choose to trust Him again tomorrow.