A Fragile Commodity
By Kevan Wain
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)
Trust is something difficult to win and easily lost.
I once scheduled an appointment for a client to meet me at my office. Through a scheduling mishap, when the day arrived I was a no-show for my own meeting. After eating some “humble pie,” and making my apology, I worked with the client to arrive at a mutually agreeable date for another appointment, and… you guessed it—I missed the next meeting too! Well, you can probably guess what happened (or didn’t happen) next—there was no third appointment because I had exhausted all credibility with my now ex-client. But from that experience, I learned a valuable lesson about trust and dependability—Trust is a fragile commodity.
Unlike fallible man, God is always reliable. He keeps His commitments to us, and He wants us to learn to trust Him for even the smallest issues of life. In fact, we are to reject any temptation to follow our own earthly wisdom. Rather, He wants us to lean on our knowledge and understanding of His character as we grow through the experience of a deepening relationship with the God of the Universe.
Sadly, many Christians struggle with the concept of trusting anyone beyond themselves. For some, trust is a foreign concept. From early on, they may have learned the exact opposite— “You can’t trust anybody.” It’s not difficult to fall back to such a position because the natural man is bent toward self-sufficiency. A dangerous old wives’ tale says, “God gave you a brain to think with, and he expects you to use it”! Quite the contrary! “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) The Bible teaches something diametrically opposed to self-sufficiency: we are to avoid placing trust in our own reasoning and fully yield our lives to the Lord’s direction.
You will notice that our scripture says, “in all your ways submit to him.” True submission requires trust, and an essential part of being a disciple of Christ is yielding the control of our lives to God’s will and His good purpose for us. But how can we do this? First, we must become wise in our thinking through the cleansing of God’s Word. Second, we will be strengthened in our resolve toward obedience as we step out in one little act of faith after another. And third, we will be reinforced with hope as we watch what God does as the result of our faithfulness.
Yes, from a merely human perspective trust is indeed fragile, but from God’s perspective, it is vital. Perhaps you find it difficult to trust God. You may be leery of where He may take you. But there is a bilateral promise in our verse: “…and he will make your paths straight.” Trust—lean not—submit, and then He will direct your paths.
Once again, I hear Proverbs 3:5-6 ringing loudly in my heart as the Lord teaches me more than ever about trusting Him not just for the important things, but for everything in my life and leaving the rest up to Him.