“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” -Proverbs 3:56
A canoe gliding serenely across the water can be such a peaceful and melancholy sight. Of course actually sitting in a canoe as it seamlessly floats along the mirrored surface of the water can also be very peaceful.
Not all canoe endeavors are so serene. I am someone who can readily recall my first ever experience with a canoe. For me, getting the small water craft with paddles to cooperate was a frustrating experience. I recall frantically paddling, only to find myself going in circles and not getting anywhere. This left me far from feeling peaceful.
Sometimes life’s circumstances can leave me feeling like that first experience in a canoe- paddling with all of my might. I realize that I have not moved, but am still stuck in the same situation. For example, I put myself out there to help a friend, coworker or family member, and I am met with indifference or very little acknowledgement. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
Some days just seem like the same old routines repeated over and over. It’s as if I am running on a hamster wheel and never getting anywhere. Just like the canoe going in circles, I struggle adhering to the direction in which I want to move.
When the state of affairs in my life feel frustrating and even scary, that is when I am most likely to hit my knees and seek God’s guidance. So often I want to know the destination, but God often calls me to trust and obey without always knowing or seeing the outcome.
In these moments, I am called to surrender my control and trust God to act on my behalf. I am called to focus on the Provider, and not on my problems.
A lesson on trusting in God’s timing can be found in John 6:16-21. John tells of a frightening experience that he and the other disciples of Jesus had in a small boat while crossing the Sea of Galilee. It was a very dark night, and after rowing 3 to 4 miles, a storm blew up.
Strong winds whipped up large, turbulent waves. These waves started tossing the boat and throwing water over the sides of the small craft. John says that they were all rowing frantically trying to reach the land, and they were very frightened of drowning in the storm.
John does not mention if the disciples cried out to God in their panic. I can only imagine what they may have been yelling as they struggled against the storm. Then, just when it seemed their struggle was in vain, they all saw Jesus walking to them on the stormy waters. Jesus calms their fears: John 6:20 “He says, “It is I, do not be afraid.” And the boat immediately reached the land.
This story illustrates the power of God’s perfect timing. It tells me that I can trust God to be with me in my personal storms. I can trust God’s timing, never early, but also never late.
God is always aware of my circumstances, and I can trust God to never leave me alone to struggle or figure things out on my own. Even when I do not see God working, I can trust is God always present for me.
God has the power to meet all human needs, but God is not a genie that grants my wishes and makes everything come out my way. God is loving and works all things for my good, even when I go through things that are not good.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
Like the disciples, we all face troubles that may serve as reminders that our strength is small. That our resources are often inadequate to navigate through our challenges. As humans with limited understanding, we may equate God’s faithfulness and blessings with the fulfillment of our own expectations.
This may result in relying solely on our own ability to control situations in life rather than surrendering our burdens to a loving God. We then try to fashion God in a box or package of our own design. When we do this, we expect things to turn out the way we planned, and negate God’s working on our behalf.
Our God is loving and compassionate, and wants to have a relationship with us. God walks alongside through our struggles. God is also sovereign which means that God is above all else, and that all authority and power belong to Him. God can bring beauty from ashes.
God’s sovereign presence was with the disciples as they struggled to survive a storm in a small boat. Sure, the disciples were fishermen and had experience with a boat in a storm, meaning they had some skills to rely on.
However, their skills were no match for the storm. Just maybe the disciples needed to experience such a challenge as the storm in order to realize their limited strength, and their need to rely on God. The unrelenting storm, and the hours of frantic rowing, provided the opportunity to grow their faith in a sovereign God.
The correct response to God’s sovereign presence is to simply trust. Trust that God is God. Trust all that God does is right, good and perfectly timed to accomplish His will. Trust is the only way.
Proverbs 3:56 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”
Questions to Consider:
How are you willing to trust God?
Are you willing to trust God with everything?
How are you willing to let God navigate your relationships, career, finances, health?
How will you trust God with what He provides, and what He does not provide?
What are you willing to surrender to God today?
Gracious, Loving God, Thank you for being there in all of my life’s ups and downs. Thank you for your perfect timing always. Help me when I flounder to put my trust in you, even and especially when, I do not understand “why” circumstances are as they are. You alone are the sovereign provider of hope and peace. Allow my testimony in words and actions to reflect your love and mercy. In the name of your blessed son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
About the Author
Marla Waldron is a beloved daughter of the Heavenly Father, and a sister, wife, mother, teacher and friend. She faithfully serves in her local church and community by serving in food and clothing banks, taking part in fundraising walks/runs and actively participating in, as well as leading, small group Bible studies for The Dented Fender Ministry. As a public school educator for 35 years she has been privileged to mentor countless beginning teachers. Currently she serves as an Intervention Specialist with Kindergarten students.
Marla is the mother of three grown children, and since her father's death she has taken on the responsibility of caring for her multiple handicapped, 50 year old brother. It is only by the grace of God that she has been able to emerge from some pretty dark tunnels of grief and self doubt in order to step along with God; one step at a time. She has learned how to hang on tight to God's truths and for sure, never expect the ride of this life to be dull. She and her husband live in Ohio.
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