Trust with All Thine Heart?
By Pastor Wally Odum
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
Trust is one of the essentials of our relationship with Jesus. I am always exercising trust. I go to a restaurant and eat what comes out of the kitchen—that is trust. Gwen and I have boarded a plane and been carried over the Pacific for more than 14 hours—that is trust. I walk into a room and sit in a chair I have not seen before and have not tested—that is trust.
Why should it be so hard to trust God?
When I was young I would attend church with my grandparents. The church they attended had “testimony” time. Members of the congregation would be given an opportunity to stand and offer thanks for something God had done. You could always count on my grandmother to stand and speak out. She would get to her feet and without exception, quote Proverbs 3:5-6 in the King James Version—“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
She not only quoted that, but she lived it.
I love football. I read the other day about the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Mike Holmgren. He was reflecting on a moment of deep frustration in his life. As a young quarterback he was cut from the New York Jets. Now an outstanding coach, he explained that the disappointment of not making the team led him to a greater plan for his life.
He said, “I had committed my life to Jesus Christ when I was 11, but in my pursuit to make a name for myself in football, I left God next to my dust-covered Bible. But after getting cut from the Jets, I pulled out my Bible and found comfort in a verse I had memorized in Sunday school: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’ I asked Jesus Christ to take control again. My priorities in life are faith, family, and football—in that order.”
Those verses in Proverbs not only worked for my grandmother and Mike Holmgren, they are true for any of us. If we can just learn to trust God He will direct our paths. When disappointments come and we keep on trusting, He will secure the direction of our lives. If we trust Him God will get us where we’re supposed to go.
I admit that trusting is still a challenge for me. God is invisible and I like to see what I’m trusting. A friend of mine, Sam Sasser, once gave an example of what I mean by the challenge of trusting God. He told of the Bailey family in Phoenix. They have a young daughter, Jill.
A powerful thunderstorm shook the house one night and Jill cried out, “Mama!” Her mother was tired and said, “Sweetheart, go to sleep. Jesus is in there with you.”
Again the lightning flashed, and thunder roared. Jill called out again, “Mama, please come in here.” Her mother, intending to pacify her, said, “Honey, go to sleep. Jesus is in there with you.” “Mama,” the little girl pleaded once more, “You come in here with Jesus, and let me go in your bedroom with Daddy.”
Sometimes we find it easier to trust the Daddy we see than the God we can’t see. But God is present. And He is dependable. As Proverbs says, “Trust in the Lord…”
There is a caution, though, when it comes to trust. Be careful not to misplace it. Everywhere around me I see people who trust in individuals who will let them down. They trust in “things” that won’t last. They risk disillusionment because they put their trust in objects that aren’t trustworthy.
A United Press release in a Midwestern city reported the story of a hospital that underwent a safety check by local fire department officials. For 35 years the hospital staff had relied on their system of fire hoses to protect them in case of a fire. They knew that they and the patients were safe in case of an emergency. All that had to do was uncoil the water hoses and they could put out any fire. However, the inspectors discovered that the firefighting equipment had never been connected to the city’s water main. The pipe that led from the building extended 4 feet underground—and there it stopped!
The medical staff and the patients had felt complete confidence in the system. They thought that if a blaze broke out, they could depend on a nearby hose to extinguish it. But theirs was a false security. Although the costly equipment with its polished valves and well-placed outlets was impressive to see, it lacked the most important thing—water!
Again, Proverbs says, “Trust in the Lord.” Don’t place your trust in people or things that may fail. Place your trust in the Lord. Whether the stock market rises or falls, whether the Republicans, Democrats or Independents win the election,
whether Iran does or doesn’t get the big bomb, the Lord is in control and we can trust Him with our journey. He will direct our paths.
When the time comes that we need help, He is the only One trustworthy enough to deserve our full confidence. D. L. Moody was right when he said, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.” All God’s promises are true and He is able to keep every one of them.
I learned a lesson about trusting God from one of those experiences that proves truth is stranger than fiction. In May 1995, Randy Reid, a 34-year-old construction worker, was welding on top of a nearly completed water tower outside Chicago. According to writer Melissa Ramsdell, Reid unhooked his safety gear to reach for some pipes when a metal cage slipped and bumped the scaffolding he stood on. The scaffolding tipped, and Reid lost his balance. He fell 110 feet, landing face down on a pile of dirt, just missing rocks and construction debris.
A fellow worker called 9-1-1 and when the paramedics arrived, they found Reid conscious, moving, and complaining of a sore back. It was a miracle. As paramedics carried him on a backboard to the ambulance, Reid had one request: “Don’t drop me.” Doctors later said Reid came away from the accident with just a bruised lung.
Sometimes I resemble Randy Reid. God has protected me from a 110-foot fall, but I get nervous about a three-foot drop. It is important for me to remember that the God who has saved my life from destruction and has forgiven all my sins, can be trusted to safely see me through the challenges I face daily.
I can still hear my grandmother, who graduated to glory when she was 94 years old, encouraging the church with, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
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Pastor Wally Odum has been in ministry for thirty years and loves to share the Gospel. He brings a relevant, inspirational approach to the Bible. Wally values relevance, but he also values authenticity. His goal is to make Biblical truth relevant to the lives of all who hear him.
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