Let’s face it. The longer a person lives, the more decisions must be faced. Where do I go to school? What should I be when I grow up? Who do I marry? Should I change jobs? Where should I live? Who should I vote for? Is my doctor the best? Where should I attend church? What do I believe in? The list is infinite leading a person to seek wise counsel from anyone and everyone … that can be good and it can be bad.
I sang a solo recently at church (“Bow the Knee” by Chris & Diane Machen):
“There are moments on our journey following the Lord
Where God illumines ev’ry step we take
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us
As we try to understand each move He makes
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers, turn to Him
There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel
We are tempted to believe God does not know
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight
Bow the knee Trust the heart of your Father
when the answer goes beyond what you can see
Bow the knee Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan
In the presence of the King, bow the knee”
As I sat down to write this post, I thought of that song and asked myself, “do I really trust Him?” When life is good and things go smooth, it’s easy to say “yes, Lord.” But when things go south and challenges come (and they do come), fear takes hold. It’s then I confess I trust in what I can see – my spouse, doctor, retirement, employer, airplane pilot … all skilled and capable of handling things in an emergency. They deliver me to the destination I want or fix the problems I have. But mistakes happen … people get injured or worse. Man is imperfect and mostly unreliable. God, however, is perfect and wholly reliable.
Scripture says (Jeremiah 17:5-8):
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Let’s face it, none of us – no not one – especially me — understands everything. I don’t know what the future holds. I can’t imagine every possible outcome. Despite what I may think of myself, I’m not all-powerful and far from perfect. Trusting any human is risky.
In the scripture above, though, the prophet Jeremiah says that the person who trusts God is like a plant near water. It gets refreshment, nourishment, and blooms. That plant, though, will go through seasonal changes with temperatures rising and falling, droughts and rains to survive through – yet the plant continues to grow.
This describes the life God wants for us — a life of hope, certainty, and confidence. Maybe not a life of material wealth, but never hopeless or alone. That message speaks volumes to me.
Looking at the lives of men who trusted God in scripture, and listening to countless testimonies from those whose lives have been turned around by God, doesn’t mean I haven’t had doubts and fears. Someone said trusting God means I have someone with me who already knows the outcome. I like that.
Now let me ask you, who do you trust?