Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life
Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
Today’s words from Solomon have reminded me of an experience my husband and I, as well as good friends of ours, had while in San Francisco this past summer. Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll try to explain the connection…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
We went to San Francisco this past summer. What a place! During one of the first days we were there we found Lombard St. Well, to drive down the famous section of Lombard St. with all its zigs and zags, you first must drive up the other side of this steep mountainous road. As we were driving up, I was getting more nervous and more nervous. The incline seemed at least 45 degrees, although after some research it was only about an 18 degree incline. In any case, it was a steep road. As we were getting closer, and closer to the top, a van, two vehicles ahead of us, stopped and from under its hood, regurgitated a huge puff of black smoke. The thoughts of that vehicle rolling backwards into us, or us being stuck on that God forsaken stretch of road was enough to send me into a flurry of panic, which I was certainly feeling begin to boil up with in me. However, as I looked across to my husband who was driving, there came over me an absolute sense of peace. There is no one I know who is as calm of a driver in stressful situations as he; nor is there any other driver I know, who somehow can see and sense all that is going on around him. So despite my fear and desire to scream and get off this roller coaster, I closed my eyes and prayed for Rick and trusted in his ability to get us up the steep and narrow road, past the broken down vehicle, through the congested intersection at the peak of the hill, and down the other side.
As I reflect on that experience, I remember being a bit caught up by the sense of peace that I experienced. It didn’t mean that all my internal anxiety left me, nor that those thoughts of possible doom didn’t come to the forefront of my mind. No, I still felt them, but I didn’t give into them. In having the peace in knowing that I was in the best possible hands to get me through this undesirable situation allowed me to withdraw from having to have any part in maneuvering through it. I submitted control over to Rick. Sure, I still had to be part of the situation, and go through it; I couldn’t jump ship. I just had to sit and be still and trust in my husband for his expert driving abilities and his love and care for me, and our beloved friends who were with us in the back seat. (And to think that they still call us their friends is another whole devotion.)
Today, Solomon is encouraging us to trust in God’s ways to get us through all the storms of life. In a way, my glimpse of peace on Lombard St. is just a minuscule glimpse of the peace we can have in any and every situation, as we turn to God and know that, even if we want to jump ship and find the quickest way out, he will guide us through it and it will be good. So let’s stay focused on the Lord and his almighty, all knowing, all powerful ability to do what needs to be done in all our life’s situations. They are not too big for him. No, we may not want to be there at all, but if we have to go through it, let’s turn our thoughts to him.
May I encourage you to trust the Lord and don’t give in to the anxious thoughts that want to consume you, but continue to walk in his ways, take everything to him in prayer and continue to live in his love and his faithfulness, his joy and his peace. Then when this situation passes, continue to follow his ways in his commandments and bestow the fruits of the spirit to those around you. In the end, you can look back on your life and see how the edges of your life’s path may be rough and rocky at some points, but the centre is a straight and even pathway where God himself paved the way for your life with him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I don’t understand why I have to go through certain things or put up with certain people. My desire to control the situation or eliminate myself from the situation altogether by my own means, brings about more hurt and chaos. So I lift to you the situations of my life and ask that you help me to trust you in guiding me through them; that your will is done in my life and the lives of those around me. Give me peace to know that all is in your hands even when I don’t understand or can’t explain what’s happening. And to trust that, no matter what, you took care of the ultimate devastation of this life and won my salvation; this earthly death means eternity with you. Therefore, may I be as bold as David with the words, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15) In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!