This article is dedicated to Melissa Taylor, James Edward Bartley, Natasha Emanuel, Amanda Carter and Greg Jacobs and their families.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6. What a beautiful text we have here. This one I must say has been on my heart recently. Thirty eight people traveled with New Bethel Church located on 1165 Mt. Moriah Church Road in Clinton to Samaritan’s Purse Processing Center in Boone, NC on Nov. 26. We processed shoeboxes from 6-9 p.m. The amount that was processed on this date was 59,001 on Saturday, Nov. 26. The shoeboxes were shipped to Camaroon, Africa. On Saturday, Dec. 3, 60,046 shoeboxes were processed and the processing will continue until Dec. 12 or possible the 13. On Sunday morning in the Conference Room we had Worship Service and Greg Jacobs spoke. One of the scriptures he used was Proverbs 3:5-6. There are so many things in life that we just can’t explain. Often these are things that are completely beyond our control. Maybe someone we love was taken from us because of an accident, or as a result of a disease. Maybe we are dealing with the loss of our own health or someone else’s. Maybe a relationship has died, and we are grieving that loss. And the list goes on.
Often times when we encounter rough areas in our life our first question is why? It is this very text that gives me much comfort and I pray it does the same for you.
First as we know the book of Proverbs were written by King Solomon. What is interesting is this, is despite how the latter part of his life went and how the kingdom would go as a result. It is very humbling as you read what Solomon asked for. Of all the things a king could ask for, Solomon asks for wisdom (I Kings 3: 7-13). He asked for this so as to rule the people justly. He recognized he was young and needed wisdom to rule the people. This my friends is the attitude a ruler needs to have the humility to realize he needs God’s guidance in leading him even though he has been placed in a position of authority.
Verse five I do believe is a familiar text to all Christians. It goes as follows; trust in the Lord at all times with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding. You know I love this verse and often times the Lord brings this verse to memory when times are rough or beyond my understanding. I find it no coincidence that this verse ends; lean not on your own understanding. When things don’t go the way we think they should, we try to pull them apart, to dissect them, to bring about some kind of understanding. “If we could only understand why this happened, maybe we could learn to accept it and heal the hurt.” Does that sound familiar? The next step seems to be, “Well, if someone else could only understand what we are feeling, then it might feel better,” but that never happens, because no one truly understands our loss. Well, almost no one. There is someone that does. First off to trust in the Lord at all times, means just what it says to trust Him at all times. When things are pressing in from all sides and you don’t see a way out trust in Him. Friends it doesn’t lay down conditions saying if things are great trust in Him at those times only. No, it says trust in the Lord at all times. Don’t rely on your own understanding. We as humans only see a small part of the picture when God sees the entire picture. Consider this and I do believe leaning on your own wisdom will sound quite foolish and make no sense at all.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” When I think of this verse I think about the 23 Psalm of how it says that the Lord is our Shepherd. The longer I walk with Him I’ve come to see more and more how He has led me. It has been no coincidence the very paths in which He has led me on. Granted they haven’t always been fun, but they have all had a purpose. When I say they haven’t been fun, I acknowledge the fact that there are trials, tribulations, and suffering in this life even for those of us who are His. That through these trials I’ve grown closer to Him and through it I’ve acknowledged His very presence with me. As it is written “I (God) will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When we bring our focus back to God, from ourselves and from our loss, then we discover that it is God who understands our hurt, and it is God who is able to make our paths straight again. It is God who can heal us of all our hurts.
I encourage you to trust in him always. I know there are going to be days that are going to be rough. In fact I know there are going to be days that are going to feel like hell. Know this that He will be with you every step of the way. Remember this, His will may not be to get you out of a tough situation, in fact most times I’ve found His will is to get me through it. Through it, I’ve found it draws me closer to Him. Through it, my dependence on Him has grown and my love for Him continues to grow deeper everyday. Be encouraged in the Lord.
Prayer: Thank You, gracious God, for knowing our hurts and for understanding our pain. Come to us today to begin the healing in us. Help us to trust You, so that healing can begin, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
By faith I keep pressing on!