Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” This is such an easy thing to do…when life is running smoothly. When the Lord’s blessings are obvious, it seems so natural to say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1). When we are happy, successful, satisfied, thriving, we eagerly exclaim, “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5). When life is calm, joyful, peaceful, quiet, we have no problem proclaiming, “In God I trust, I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56:11).
But what about the times when life doesn’t seem to be running smoothly at all? What about the times when trouble and sorrow and hardship and pain cloud our lives? What about the times when it seems as though God has lost control of things (as if his power has limits), or when it looks as if he is unaware of the difficulties we are facing (as if his knowledge has limits), or when it appears that he no longer has our best interests in mind (as if his love for us has limits)? What about the times when the circumstances of life make it so difficult to trust?
It’s at times like these that we must remember: God is not limited; we are. Our understanding of how God’s plans fit together for the world and for our individual lives is limited by our limited minds, by our limited intellect, and by our limited reason. And, worst of all, our understanding is also constantly clouded and stained by our sinfulness.
God, however, is without limits. His power is boundless. His knowledge is endless. His love for us is ceaseless. He has already proven that by sending his Son Jesus into the world to live and to die to save us from our sins. He’s already proven that by raising his Son back to life and by glorifying him at his right hand for all eternity. And the one who has already proven these things promises to continue to work out all things in our lives—all things—for our good, both now and for eternity. And that is true no matter what the individual circumstances of our lives may look like. It’s true even when our “own understanding” may try to convince us otherwise.
So “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when my limited understanding leads me to question your plans for my life, remind me of your limitless power, knowledge, and love, that I may place my trust in you all my days. Amen.