January 7, 2013
The Music Man, a famous Broadway musical from the 50’s that was made into a fun movie, is one of my all-time favorites. The setting is River City, Iowa, perfect small town USA, a Garden of Eden. An infamous conman, Harold Hill, rolls into town and fabricates “Trouble with a capital T,” singing a famous song Ya Got Trouble. Then he cons the residents into buying a pricey solution. It’s a great movie to watch with the kids, especially if you have one with a lisp (a 5 yo Ron Howard played a boy with a lisp) as I did.
Listen up, because in reality, as we were reminded by Hurricane Sandy and the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, trouble is all around us, especially in today’s society. In most cases we are either running toward or away from trouble. In what direction are you headed … which way are you leaning? In today’s scripture, Solomon gives us two options regarding what to trust: God or our own understanding. God is calling us to lean away from the conventional wisdom of self-reliance, and then to trust (or lean on) His wisdom. God wants us to acknowledge His wisdom and trust Him in every area of our lives.
What should I do about this relationship? Which job should I seek? How will I make the mortgage payment this month? How can I help my daughter? Should I confront that problem or wait? What do I do about this decision? No matter what problem, challenge, or circumstance you are facing, God wants to help. But you have a choice to make. Are you going to lean on your own understanding … or are you going to trust God?
Satan is always playing with our heads. Wanting us to build our house on his sandy foundation. We also wrestle with our own massive inventory of hurts, letdowns, and frustrations from times when we did trust others. All that scar tissue from the past interferes with our willingness to trust and be vulnerable again with someone else. The message society tries to drive home is, “You can only rely on and trust yourself.”
Leaning is all about trust. When you lean against a wall, you trust that the wall won’t collapse, that it will support your weight. If you are going to lean on God, you need to be ready to trust Him fully. So interview Him. Is He wise enough to help you? Is He interested in helping you? Does He understand your situation? Does He know what is really best for you and for everyone involved? Is His timing fast enough for your agenda to be met? Does He love you? Is He willing to sacrifice for your growth.
If you are willing to study the Scriptures with an open heart and mind, you will soon discover that the answer to all these questions is a resounding and powerful ‘yes.’ God loves you with a love so great that you can’t begin to fathom it. His wisdom knows no bounds. Lean away from self-reliance and trying to do it all yourself. Begin leaning on God today. If not God, who is worthy and capable for you to lean on and trust during the storms of your life? Certainly not you!
Today, compare your track record to God’s. Then, look at an area where you struggle. Write down how you are leaning on your understanding, and then write down God’s instruction for that issue. Make an effort today to trust and follow God’s instruction and direction. Who and what you lean on is your decision, so choose well.
O Almighty God, I do want to trust You so that I can truly lean on You. Help me to spend time with the Scriptures and understand how they apply to me. Help me understand how scars from my past still interfere with my willingness to be fully trusting and vulnerable to You and Your purpose, direction, and plan for my life. I ask for the courage to live with the uncertainty and concern that I feel when I am not in control. Am I ever really in control of my life anyway? Help me to trust You and lean on Your wisdom. I pray in the name of the One I lean toward, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6