If you don’t mind, I am going to be a little honest, here.
I don’t trust, easily. I have lost some trust in certain people – sales people, doctors, politicians. Okay…those are kinda standard. Some people have basically lost their trust – former employers and employees, former pastors and a few family members. My parents even lost a little trust. I also admit, I have a tough time trusting the Lord.
Of anyone to trust, I should certainly trust the Lord…right? But, probably because of things that went on in my life over the years, I gained a sense of wanting to control things. When we are in control, we are not trusting someone else.
But, certainly, the Lord is completely trustworthy. He loves us unconditionally and He “works all things for good…”. Trusting Him should be easy. Well, when one is used to taking control of certain areas of their life, trust does not come easy.
To trust is to let go and let someone else take care of things.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”, we read in Proverbs. Our heart is our will. We need to decide whether we are going to trust Him, or not. We can examine His track record and see that He does work things for good. Granted, it does not feel like it when things are just perpetually awful, though.
We read in Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
This is metaphoric of a dark place. A place where there is no sunlight. Kinda scary. Can’t see everything, if anything at all. Every sound makes you jump a little, because you can’t see what it was or where it came from.
But, David takes comfort…
- The Lord is with him
- The Lord has a rod of protection
- The Lord has a staff of guidance.
There are those who say that the rod is for our correction. This makes God out to be some sort of taskmaster, stick in hand, ready to whack us once we step out of line. Really, the rod is for protection from predators. One fox gets too close to a sheep and…SMACK! One snake gets caught slithering around…THUD! It was not – no matter how convincing a teaching may sound – it was not used to break a leg of a wandering sheep (this doctrine is used by leaders who exercise control over people).
The staff is used to guide. As the sheep herd move along, the shepherd would use the staff to tap and guide sheep back into the herd so they would stay together, as he led them to other pastures.
Back in Proverbs 3, the other part of the aforementioned verse is, “…and lean not on your own understanding.” To lean is to find support, preferably solid, reliable support. Our own understanding is what we see, perceive, or know (or think we know). This really shows what trust in someone else is not.
God sees the whole picture. He sees all the circumstances and people involved. He knows the wisest course of action. He knows when inaction is the better course. When we are stuck between a rock and a hard place, we need to seek and wait on Him.
Isaiah 40:31 starts with, “They that wait upon the Lord…” That word, wait, is the same word in Hebrew as trust. Personally, I find that interesting. So, if we are to wait upon the Lord, we do need to trust Him…is this right? It seems so.
Life is full of struggles and stresses for me and my family, as with many people. But they have appeared to “blossom” in the last few years. Just when we think we were on a good path, something comes along and seems to knock us off. Then, what I do, is look for a way to fix it (especially when I feel guilty over being a cause for much of the circumstances), when most of it is not in my control.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe we need to be wise and diligent about things. But, life does give us more than we can handle. Yes, the Lord allows more than we can handle.
We are broken people living in a broken world full of broken people. Crap happens. We might do it to ourselves or someone else may cause it, but consequences follow. We are not necessarily “under attack from the enemy”, nor are we (ever) “being punished” by the Lord for something. Whether we did something out of unwise impulsiveness, outright stupidity, selfish intentions or if someone else caused our circumstances, the Lord is fully aware and has an answer.
He sees the big picture. Abraham knew this. Gideon learned it. Moses caught on.
Can I just rest in Him? Can I let go and allow Him to take care of these things that are too big for me to handle? Am I able to allow His wisdom to speak, rather than “leaning on my own understanding”?
Maybe you struggle with trust, too. I don’t think I am the only one out there. But, I think, perhaps, if we keep seeking Him and not hold onto that which we think we should control, that maybe…just maybe…we might see just how He will handle things, as we walk together.