Trusting in God

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
[6] In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

I remember hearing this verse probably close to a thousand times growing up, if not more. I always heard it with the connotation that as long as I trusted God, everything will be ok. While this is true, everything “being ok” to a 12 year old means that I get to sleep in as much as possible, hurry home from school to do my chores, and then I get to go outside and play, or watch some variation of Star Trek, as I most often opted to do instead. It meant that mom and dad wouldn’t argue (because I was apparently an idealist at some point), and that they’d be together until they died.

I soon found out that life didn’t work out like that, and found myself asking things like “God, I’m trusting you, why is this happening?” Admittedly, my concept of “trust” was much different at 12 than it is at 28, but I have no doubt that as much as my 12 year old mind and spirit could comprehend, I still trusted God, and was still very confused as to why my world was seemingly turned upside down.

When we look at this text for what it really says though, we get a different understanding than I somehow absorbed in my childhood. Trusting God and not leaning on my understanding means that I am to acknowledge that God is sovereign, loving, righteous, and infinitely wiser than I am, and that as such, He may allow things to happen that make absolutely no sense, for the purpose of making me into who He wants me to be.

I kept thinking that as long as I built my house on the rock of Christ, that it was going to be smooth sailing. I recently heard my pastor point out that even though the house built on the sand collapsed and the house built on the rock stood, both houses still went through the storm (Matthew 7:24-27). This means that with a solid foundation in Christ Jesus, when storms come, the house will still be standing at the end of the storm, but I may suffer a broken window, or even need to replace a wall. Often times, when I go to replace that spiritual wall, I find myself realizing that the framework was built with bad wood, then I go through a time of replacing that frame. Later on, I find that it’s time to add a second story to the house, which would have caused the house to collapse in on itself because the bad framework wouldn’t have been able to handle the weight of the new addition and responsibilities. This is the point when the purpose for the initial storm becomes clear. God allowed a storm to come my way so that I might be confronted with the work necessary to bear more responsibilities; in other words, He was making my paths straight.

“God will take us where we have not intended to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own.” — Paul Tripp

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