Thursday, July 25, 2013

The absolute bottom line of everything

Over the past few days, this verse has really been on my mind:

“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

Years ago, that was my “life verse”; it was the motivation for my first tattoo, and possibly the first verse I really memorized.

I love it; it pretty much encompasses everything.
But it is also extremely difficult.

I have struggled immensely to trust God for years. And even when I am not overtly struggling, am I actually trusting him? Or am I just coasting through life, not thinking about things, avoiding the topics I need to address?

I repeatedly rely on my own everything – my own strength, my own ideas, my own understanding, my own eyes, my own view of my life. This finds its root in pride and control, which are the opposites of surrender and trust. I linger far too often among the former things and run in fear from the latter.

And as for acknowledging him in everything, if I am honest, I live far more often like a practical agnostic. I don’t acknowledge him, I don’t seek to make him known above making myself known. Sometimes I go through a day and don’t even think about him at all.

I don’t want to be that way – any of those ways. I WANT to trust God, I want to acknowledge him, I want to follow him.

Look at that promise – “and he will make your paths straight.” Other versions say, “and he will direct your paths.” Either way, it is an amazing promise.

No, it doesn’t say that the paths will be easy, or free of dangers, rocks, thieves, or whatever else. It doesn’t say life will be smooth-sailing and peachy-keen if you follow and trust God (which is something that, all too often, churches preach).

BUT your paths will be straight. They will be divinely directed.

I don’t know about you, but I desperately want God to lead my life, to direct my steps, to take me where he wants me to go. To make me who he wants me to be.

And it starts with me surrendering my illusion of control, with me choosing to trust him. Not just in theory, not just in words, not just because I know I should. I mean the kind of trust that throws itself upon him, holds nothing back, and holds nothing else. 

It starts with me choosing to not lean on my own understanding, to look past what my eyes see and what my circumstances tell me to focus on, and instead, focus on him.

Everything goes back to trust.
So, are you trusting God?

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