How do you respond when your world gets rocked…really rocked? Me… not so well at times. To say that I have been known to come completely unglued would be putting it mildly. I have this tendency to react first, and then seek God’s perspective on whatever has done the rocking to my world. Responding in this order has never worked well for me.
The writer of Proverbs suggests a better way. He says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Sometimes, directing my path involves directing my thoughts.
The times I get rocked the hardest are the times I approach the crisis from my perspective. I usually start with the question, “Is this what I want?” The further the situation is from being what I want, the more unglued I tend to become. I wrestle with it, I get angry, and I try to figure out how to fix it. It doesn’t take long before I am completely exhausted and have made things worse than they were when it all started.
But, over the years, God has been teaching me a different way. I have not been the fastest learner, but still, I am learning. Instead of sizing up a crisis through my limited human understanding, I have started trying to train myself to say, “God, direct my thoughts. Help me to see this as You see it. Give me Your understanding.”
Sometimes He responds fairly quickly. I might discover that God is having to administer some discipline in my life. I really hate being disciplined. Didn’t like it as a child, don’t like it as an adult. Sometimes, God has His pruning shears out. Not real fond of that either. Then there are times when I find that the rocking was simply to change my life’s course to fall in line with His sovereign plan for my life… still hard. If I’m being honest, sometimes, no matter how hard I try to find His perspective, I just can’t; at least not for a while.
Either way, here is where the “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” part comes in. Do I trust Him when He says that nothing touches my life without His permission, and if He gives permission, it is for my good? Do I trust that when He bends me, He will not let me break? Do I trust that He knows what is best for my life – even more than I do?
When I find myself struggling to answer all those questions with a confident “Yes,” I turn and look back over the course of my life. Every single time I do this, I realize that He has never failed me, not even once.
If you find your world rocking right now, consider asking your Father to substitute your understanding of what is happening with His perspective. Then trust Him with all your heart.
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