Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart
Do you know why I hate curve roads? Because I can’t see what’s coming! And when I can’t see what’s coming, my brain starts filling in the blanks. And when that happens, I usually imagine the worst! Then fear sets in and that makes me blind to what is truly in front of me! I hate curvy roads!
Life can be like a curvy road, and when I am not formed by wisdom, my brain fills in the blanks of what I can’t see from a place of paranoia and fear. I imagine what people are thinking and saying. I get trapped in a mental loop of what I’m afraid of or I hope for. I am intoxicated by the fantasies of my thoughts and I will even start being angry with someone based solely on what I think they might be doing! And there goes even the possibility of trust!
Look at our lesson today in Proverbs 3:1-18:
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you.
Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and its profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.
King Solomon tells his son to let his heart keep his commandments. The heart? Yes, the heart. You see, in the pre-rationalistic world that formed the Holy Scriptures, the “heart” or the very center of the person is where obedience to wisdom started. And this is still true today even though we moderns have foolishly and pridefully thought of ourselves as more sophisticated and scientific than those “backward” ancients. Your actions still flow from your inner formation. But sadly, our formation now seems to be poverty stricken and based on our self-love rather than authentic wisdom.
Solomon then writes one of my favorite verses in all the Scriptures. Trust in the Lord. Don’t rely on your own insights. Acknowledge Him, and He will make your roads straight rather than curvy! Perfect! Just what I need! But it all starts with trust. When you have more confidence in yourself rather than the timeless wisdom of God, you end up with a curvy life. But if you start by trusting God, He will straighten your life out!
But don’t just stop at Trust. Go on to Honor God with your best offerings of time, talent, and treasure. Part of Trust and honor is setting God as the top priority before anyone and anything else! And, to do that, takes discipline. Putting God in front doesn’t come naturally or easy in this fallen world. You have to practice this discipline and you have to come to see this discipline as a treasure and not a drudgery! In the end, reorienting your life towards God produces exactly what you want – happiness!
Today, do you trust in the Lord with all your heart? Yeah, me too. I struggle with being consistent with this. The key is to humbly embrace the disciplines of the Faith BECAUSE these disciplines set you free to trust and they will straighten out your life as you learn how to be Orthodox on Purpose!
P.S. O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. (Prostration) But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant. (Prostration) Yes, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)