A friend of ours was in trouble. A foolish mistake had cascaded into unexpected legal issues, turning his life upside down. The stress was nearly unbearable for him—its effects spilling over, changing, and challenging every area of his life.
As he retained an attorney and the weeks, then months rolled by, he was gradually forced to adjust to an entirely different life path than familiar.
My husband and I did our best to support him, counsel him, and pray for him, watching and waiting for things to resolve.
Now, eighteen months later, this friend recently visited us. Things have vastly improved, though still not fully resolved. The advice his attorney had given him he didn’t favor at the time, but eventually followed.
As we sipped coffee and discussed the situation, he shared how he was realizing the even muddier mess he probably avoided had he not followed his lawyer’s counsel. He talked about the good things that have emerged in his life over this time—lessons learned, and character building traits he’ll carry forward a lifetime.
A Scripture came to mind, which we talked about:
“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater;” (1 John 5:9a NASB)
How readily we embrace the counsel of a trusted source: the doctor’s advice for a chronic pain, the plumber’s expertise to fix a leak, the tree removal company who has the knowledge and equipment I don’t when that old tree in the yard must come down.
We place our trust in these people to help us when needed. We trust their words and their expertise.
Yet why do we often struggle to trust what God says? Isn’t He the “expert in the field” of life?
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:19 NLT)
Every principle and promise of God is worthy of our trust.
In the Old Testament, Jeremiah likened the person who puts their trust in God to a tree planted near a river:
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.
‘But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.’” (Jeremiah 17:5-8 NLT)
The river (the LORD) will provide for the tree (the person), giving it (him or her) nourishment and sustenance, even during hard times.
If life has taken an unforeseen detour, and you are in the middle of working it out—remember—you can trust God’s words to you. His counsel will not fail you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
Like the tree by the river, you will not only thrive, but also bear fruit!
Copyright © 2017 Cheryl Elton