I don’t think any honest, devoted Christian can deny how vital it is within our daily walk to trust in the Lord. Countless clichés have permeated Christian culture as a result of this nigh-universal awareness. “Let go and let God.” “Jesus, take the wheel.” “Is God your pilot or parachute?” There’s certainly plenty of examples of Scriptural precedence for such trust.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalms 37:5 NASB
I will say to the Lord , “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
Whether we’re talking about direction or protection, God is far more faithful to us than we are to Him. One of the most commonly referenced Scripture relating to trusting God is found in Proverbs.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 NASB
Sometimes it’s easy for me to trust God, particularly when I have no choice or no understanding. If something is so far beyond my capacity to fix (or even influence), it’s easy to say, “You know what, God? I’m gonna let you handle this one.” If it’s far too complicated for me to fully wrap my head around it, it’s almost natural to say, “Your ways are above my ways, Your thoughts are above my thoughts,” then hand it off. I’ve had issues in the past few weeks that met one or both of those qualifications.
Other times it’s not so easy. As a person who readily accepts personal responsibility out of an inherent nature (or perhaps nurture, as responsibility was [thankfully] a constant push from my father), many times it’s much more natural for me to say, “I got myself into this mess; I’ll dig myself out.” Sometimes, it’s even more subtle. There’s not even a conscious decision, but rather a built-in assumption that a particular thing falls under the jurisdiction of personal responsibility without any consideration to God whatsoever. This latter category is dangerous precisely because it is so subtle and it gives God no chance to be glorified.
A little more than 24 hours ago, I was presented with the question of whether I had ever entrusted God with my own emotional protection. The thought had, frankly (and surprisingly), never crossed my mind. My emotional well-being was my responsibility. I could choose to accept the joy of the Lord, sure, but the protection of my emotional state of mind was my job. Why would I surrender that to God?
So, on the surface, it seems like I’d just say, “Oh, wow. Never thought of that. Well, there You have it. It’s all Yours, God.” One submission and everything is peachy-keen. But instead, it starts making me ask questions about whether or not I trust God appropriately at all. I can say that I have, for a long time, intellectually trusted God. He’s never failed me, and since He is unchanging, why would He start failing me now? The friend who posed the question of trusting God with emotional protection then offered a shocking comparison that rattled me to the core. “That,” he said, “describes my relationship with my microwave. It’s very consistent, too.”
So the measure of trust in my relationship with God is appropriate for a common kitchen appliance. Wow. Just wow.
The bottom line is that Proverbs doesn’t say to trust in the Lord with all your analysis, experience, or lack of alternative. It says to trust with all your heart. I must learn to fully embed myself in that trust.
I should trust God enough to be genuinely vulnerable in my relationships, allowing people past the protective walls I’ve built up since childhood. If I get hurt, God will heal me, and it’s probably a hurt that I needed for some reason.
I should trust God enough to invest myself fully in the relationships He has placed in my life. If He placed someone there, then I owe it to Him, the someone, and myself to stick to it, be friendly, patient, loving, and everything else that particular relationship demands. Even if I don’t see why God would have arranged things as He did (or even agree with His choice), anything short of my full effort diminishes the relationship to something less than His best, as I’ve recently learned the hard way.
If I don’t get it, I should trust Him. If I think I have it figured out, I should trust Him. If I see something is way beyond my reach, I should trust Him. If I see something is practically already in my hands, I should trust Him. If it has a good chance of leaving me in pain, I should trust Him. If there is no risk at all, I should trust Him.
If I’m to walk by faith and not by sight, then I have to be willing to be blind and let Him lead the way.