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Proverbs 3:5

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trust in God.  Because I find myself so inside of this issue, I’m finding this a difficult entry to write.

 

This passage in Proverbs is gently encouraging. Chapter 3 begins with addressing the reader as ‘My child.’   We all need to hear tenderness of this sort long after we are children…it makes us want to move closer and listen with our hearts.

 

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But I’d like to stick with verse 5.  For me it is both comforting and confounding.  Comforting, because I know God’s vision for my life is so much better than my own and its good to be reminded of this. But I am somewhat confused by the directive to ‘lean not on your own understanding.’  When does this apply? Of course I accept that my sense of things is finite and so am strengthened by the idea that ultimately, the whole picture rests with God.  But surely God gave me insight and intellect so that I might utilize them. Certainly the care of others that God expects of me requires me to consult my experience and knowledge, right?

 

Perhaps what I’m having trouble seeing is that God wants both prayerfulness and problem-solving from us simultaneously.

 

So I’ve been considering the relationship between trust in God and prayer.  The link sounds fundamental-- almost ridiculously obvious. It seems to me that if I made more regular time for prayer, my trust in God would deepen. After all, isn’t prayer Trust embodied?  A way of living and moving in Trust? I’m reminded of what CS Lewis said about prayer as fulfilling a need or a yearning:

 

"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me."

 

I suspect that many of us would like to change our prayer habits. What about you?  

 

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