Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart; and Repeat
by Dan Kidd
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." This is one of those passages for which every time I recall it I do so singing a little tune accompanying it; a song we sang in church choir some time in my childhood. You may know this one. It's the first half of a proverb, "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." As is the case with so many of the proverbs, it's as pithy as it is wise. If you want to journey on straight paths, trusting in God is all there is to it.
For all of its wisdom and truth, the proverb presents a problem for me. I agree with it and nod my head in resonance; trusting God is better than trusting myself, and submitting to the Lord is demonstrably better than being mastered by the world or the devil. And yet, I cannot in honesty or integrity say to you that my whole heart, everything about me, is entirely submitted to and entrusted to the Lord. Even as much as I want it to be so.
It's not the Lord hasn't proven himself to be entirely trustworthy and faithful. He has. It's not as though I'm not "all in" as a Jesus follower or that his baptism and communion are insufficient. My past, present, and future are intrinsically tied to King Jesus. But honestly, I also somehow still find occasions to worry, sit in anxiety, and second guess him. And I don't entirely know why. Certainly it's a consequence of my sinful nature in a sin soaked world, but it seems by now I'd have learned the obvious. Which, I suppose, is why Proverb 3:5-6 will be a proclamation and invitation to return to, to relearn, and grasp again.
And it's because of all this that I can, perhaps unfortunately, relate more than I'd like to these recently freed Israelites as they grumble and fret over their fate outside of Egypt. The Lord who had divided the sea for them to cross through, and drowned their slavers, would be faithful to provide for them. But they struggled like I struggle; to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on myself. Let it be that I would return to that trust again today. And tomorrow too.
Lord, we confess today that faith is a gift from you. Let it be that we would train our eyes and our trust on you and wholly you. Guide our feet to follow your path, even as we are prone to wander and falter. We trust you Lord. Let us trust in you all the more.