Isaiah 55:1-11 (NRSV)
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.
- Proverbs 3:5 (TEV)
RECENTLY, my wife was helping me to improve my golf swing. On each swing, I told her how high I thought I was swinging the club back behind my head. She would then tell me how high it was actually going. I soon started to realize that my perception of what was occurring was different from the reality of the situation.
This made me think of Proverbs 3:5: "Never rely on what you think you know." Still, when hardship comes, I often rely on my perception of the situation. I feel angry and cannot imagine why the Lord would allow it. Yet time after time, I hear the Lord gently telling me that out of a seemingly bad situation can come good.
Eventually, I can see the good that has come from my enduring that difficulty. Through it, I learned something important; I had my faith deepened, and I saw anew the depths of God's love. At that moment, I am sorry that I did not trust in the Lord from the beginning.
The next time I encounter a hardship, I pray that the Lord will remind me not to rely on what I think I know. I want to believe from the beginning that God will bless me in the experience.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to trust in you, regardless of how we feel. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
"We walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7, NRSV).
To trust in the Lord more deeply
By Vincent J. O'Brien, New York