Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
Faith can often become a tightrope, especially in those times when you have no choice but to trust God.
Have you ever been in a bad job situation? Your future with the company is in doubt. Layoffs have already begun and you could be next. But you can’t survive without that job and can’t imagine finding anything to replace it. Oh, you might find another position somewhere, but matching the income and benefits would be near impossible.
So there you are on the high wire of faith; praying, trusting, and hoping. And then you get the call to the boss’s office. Your heart sinks, you break out in a cold sweat, and say one more fervent prayer before knocking on her door.
Minutes later, you’re handed you’re severance package which is less than you expected, and you return to your work station to remove your personal effects.
Then comes the long drive home as you try to come to grips with the painful reality of unemployment. All your hard work and loyalty rewarded with termination. Just doesn’t seem fair.
“God. Why didn’t you answer my prayers?” Fair question. You had been praying for months and had done all you could to remove any sins that might hinder your request. As much as you don’t want to think it, you feel like God let you down. You had put your trust in Him, but He failed you.
Soon after, seeds of doubt enter your mind. Maybe you did something wrong. Possibly God is punishing you for some unknown sin. Or maybe this faith and God stuff isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Despite those negative feelings, in your heart of hearts you know God cares for you. Eventually you retreat from your pity party and apologize to Him for your faith failure.
“What can I do Lord? What do you want me to do? Show me the way? Speak to me, Lord. Please. Something. Just let me know you are there.” And in that still small voice you hear, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
“But I do trust you, Lord.”
“Yes, but you are leaning on your own understanding.”
That’s when the light comes back on, when you realize that losing your job wasn’t the end. Trust in God doesn’t stop at the notification of bad news. Take your eyes off the severance check and the fear of survival. That’s your understanding, but that’s not what you lean upon. Trust God. Lean on Him. It just means you’re going to be walking on the high wire of faith for a while longer.
In 1981, my partner and I lost our morning radio job in Houston, Texas to a format change. For the next six months, we were unemployed, but I prayed fervently every day for God to give us a new and better job. Ultimately, after some offers that fell through, a situation came available in Birmingham, Alabama. Unfortunately, it was for considerably less than what we had been making. But it was the only offer on the table, so we took it.
A year later, the Birmingham boss called us into his office and said it was time to renegotiate our contract. We could stay but only if we took a substantial pay cut.
In my mind, my radio career was near its end. However, a year later, ratings skyrocketed and that same boss was willing to sign a long term contract, with a substantial increase in income and a signing bonus.
What I saw as the end wasn’t. My understanding was wrong. The Lord had something better.
Time after time, I have seen God do the impossible. He often stretches our faith to the last minute and beyond.
Let’s look at that scripture one more time. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
I’ll leave you with this final thought for today. For a Christian, the end is never the end.
For more on this topic, check out this article: When Faith in Jesus Turns to Fear
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.