“Trust in the lord your with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
It’s recently come to my attention that, not only have I leaned on my own understanding, I’ve done a full frontal belly flop onto the platform of it, hoping desperately it will hold my weight. You see, I’ve attempted trust in the past, and it felt AWFUL. The free-falling off a thousand foot cliff sensation in my gut made me certain I was doing it wrong, or hadn’t yet acquired the skills necessary to execute such a dangerous task. Because trust IS dangerous. Trust leaves you vulnerable, like sleeping on your back (which I also can’t do) with vital organs exposed to the sky. I just knew that the day I learned to do trust “right” the sensation of extending my hand out into that unknowable darkness would immediately illicit a sense of divine peace, one that I’d arrive at once, and never have to trek to again. But like so many things in this life, I’m discovering trust is not a destination, rather an ever evolving path that always asks something different from you.
Often I find circumstances unfold in ways that place my feet on a rocky path with visibility hardly beyond an arm’s reach. I dig my heels into the dust and rebel against this inevitable trajectory because I don’t want that path. I want the one that stands unimpeded for miles, the one that appears to be easy and predictable, malleable enough for me to wrap my control thirsty mitts around and shape into something that requires nothing more than the finite, flawed reasoning of my own simple brain (to which I give WAY too much credit). The thought of stumbling into scenarios that necessitate reliance on anything outside of me are the stuff of nightmares, which only sharpens the irony of explaining that I seem to find myself in them quite often. When there’s a good lesson to be learned, God is patient to walk you around and around that mountain, especially when the mountain is of your own making, and you, for the briefest moment, just wish he’d give up and move on. So here I am, circling this thing again, and I start to realize that comfort isn’t the worthy idol I’ve made it out to be. Few great things are accomplished with comfort left intact, not the least of which is letting trust fall on someone outside of yourself and not grappling to get it back the moment you feel the full weight of their capacity to hurt or disappoint you. So slowly, with anxiety in my stomach and a slight tremble in my hands, I move forward in the face of great discomfort and lean into the promise that my trust is in an unfailing love. And though it often still feels reminiscent of that free fall from the sky, I press on with the belief that the risk is SO worth the reward.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8