Whenever our circumstances become too difficult to handle Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of those ‘go to’ passages of text: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not [do not depend] on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
In verse 5 of this passage of text we are introduced to a literary device called antithetical parallelism which simply bridges together two opposing ideas in marked contrast. In short, if we trust in the Lord, we cannot also depend upon our own ability to understand everything God is doing.
1 Corinthians 13:12 offers us a valid reason why shouldn’t lean nor depend on our own understanding: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
My brothers and sisters, we are all spiritually nearsighted. In other words, we only see part of the picture God is painting and if we are to truly trust God’s direction, we have to let go of our pride, our programs, and our plans. Even the best made human plans cannot begin to approach the magnificent tapestry of God’s master plan. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:25).
I get it, we have a lot going on in our world: an ambiguous economy, political, social, and municipal unrest. The COVID pandemic is still out there (I think), the senseless war on Ukraine, and soaring costs across the board (hyper inflation), not to mention outrageous gas prices. If you have any hair left…it’s enough to make you want pull the reamining strands out!
Fact is, when our lives starts spinning out of control all we want are answers…we want to understand. However, Jeremiah 17:9 reminds and admonitions: “The heart is deceitful above all things” and let’s face it, our emotions are not dependable and human understanding simply cannot see the overall, big (God) picture!
It’s easier said than done, but we must approve of God’s ways, even when we can’t comprehend them. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us why we often don’t understand what God is doing: “‘For His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts.'”
God sees the BIG picture, while we only see our tiny corner of it. To trust in the Lord with all our heart means we can’t place our own right to understand above His right to direct our lives the way He sees fit. When we insist on God always making sense to our finite minds, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual trouble and unrest.
At the end of the day, every person must make a cognitive decision whether to live his or her life according to personal preference or according to the unchanging Word of God. Undoubtedly, we will not understand how God is causing “all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28), but when we trust Him with all our hearts, we know that God never lies, God never changes, God sees all, God knows all, and God never fails!