Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Hell week. Deadlines pile up. Exams, paperwork, and unnecessary stress come crashing in like a tsunami of demanding expectations. On top of that, personal issues are amazing at being unhelpful. Add in the drama with family, friends, (maybe frenemies too?), and you’ve got more headaches than normal.
It’s easy to think our way through it. Devise some plans to get through the day. Or simply YOLO it. Procrastinate the brunt of another week. Or if you’re responsible enough, play the mindless robot who gets the job done despite dying on the inside. ( I was good at that.) It’s as good as walking with a crutch while trying to
recover from tolerate the pain.
In the midst of a trying time, this well quoted verse comes to mind.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Okay. What does that mean?
For someone like me who copes with stress (and denial) through intellectualizing (hurt) feelings, TRUSTING could mean one thing:
It’s to abandon your own logic.
It means to accept surrender and to relinquish control of the things that are really, actually, uncontrollable in our lives.
And to the thinkers/planners/ super OC personality types, this is difficult. We process the odds against us through what we see, hear, and feel with our own senses. We base our decisions on the cause & effect of our situations & actions.
And yet He says, “You can’t rely on your own understanding.”
Can’t rely on ourselves alone. (Because it really is difficult to strive in this limited life with limited human abilities.)
We’ve been called to be “illogical” at some point. To betray the evidence before our eyes and to trust in the impossible. To expect God to make the impossible a reality as it is in His will.
And it makes sense. We’re called to not think like the world. We may be trudging through daunting tasks and challenges in life, but it’s difficult to rely on one’s understanding/wits/strength/ intelligence/popularity/possessions/ talents/ abilities, etc. to get through it all in one piece.
We’ve been given the grace to lose focus on the difficulties and instead begin to look at things from God’s perspective.
Remember Peter? That disciple walked on water towards Jesus, only to sink into the water after a moment. It was a 60-second miracle. The winds howled. The waves roared. And Peter got distracted, losing sight of Him in the midst of the storm. Suddenly, the storm was a larger reality. And he began sinking. Jesus came and pulled him out of the water, admonishing him to grow his faith. (Matthew 14:22-33) Sure, maybe he failed the test of faith, but it didn’t end there. Christ still pulled him out of the storm.
Maybe you feel like Peter, but you’re drowning in Hell week instead. Your challenges may come in the form of an emotional whirlwind, but look to the One who walks over your rising water. Yes, the storm is as real as ever, but Jesus is the greater reality.
And he walks, and he walks over your storm, over your trials, over your difficulties.
From His point of view, our giants are ants to Him. Whatever illness, hell week, crisis, relationship blunder, stress? God looks at them and says they’re small compared to who He is.
Trusting is looking past that tsunami, past the storm, and looking farther up, farther into grace.
“Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Suddenly, drama is less when you’ve got a bigger hand to pull you out of the tsunami plummeting in your life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
It’s always the better option to take His hand than to keep sinking. Trust equates to surrender. Surrender gives Him enough space to work on the things we can’t do on our own.
Zigzags turn into smoother roads if He takes over–if we have the guts to say “yes” to that thrilling question, “Do you trust me?”