I was hiking on South Mountain trails last week when I bumped into a couple of men looking for directions. They were new to the trail system and wanted to get to a higher trail, but were unsure how to reach that point from where we stood.
I have run on those trails for years and know them well, so I told the men what they would need to do. They hesitated, as that would mean heading west for awhile before heading north again. The foothill in front of us blocked the view of the whole trail system, and the path on which we stood was not indicated on their map. I explained that if they could just make it to the “saddle,” their view would open up and the way to go would become more obvious.
I soon continued on my way. When I came back down through that area about 15 minutes later, those men were nowhere in sight. Perhaps they had not followed the way I had directed them. If they had, I would likely have seen them since I had gone out and returned that same way. I concluded that they must have just turned around.
Why should they have believed my directions? They didn’t know me. Even though I told them I had experience on the very trail they were seeking, why would they trust a stranger? I was describing trails that were not visible from where we stood.
Sometimes it is hard to trust God even though trustworthiness is a part of His character. He is faithful, and as Malachi 3:6 reminds us, “I the LORD do not change.” Noah trusted God and built an ark. Daniel trusted in God’s faithfulness and came out of the lions’ den unscathed. I read somewhere recently that if you have trouble trusting the Lord, it may be that you don’t really know Him. The best way to get to know Him is to spend time reading the Bible and praying.
My daughter’s science book introduced us to a man named Matthew Maury. His inspiration to study and map out ocean currents was taken from Psalms 8:8 where the psalmist writes about “...the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” In the mid-1850s, Maury wrote what is considered the first textbook of modern oceanography. He trusted that if God’s word said there were paths in the oceans, then surely there must be. And he was right.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “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.”
Notice it doesn’t say to trust Him with some of your heart and in a few of your ways. Maybe you trust Him with the finances and your health, but not with that wayward child. It says trust Him with ALL of your heart and to acknowledge Him in ALL your ways. Abram received God’s promise that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens, yet he did not wait on God’s perfect timing. God was faithful to do exactly as He promised, but Abram’s lack of trust in the meantime caused a lot of unnecessary heartache for many (Genesis 15, 16).
The more you know God, the more you will be able to trust Him. Sometimes we can’t see what is around the bend, but the Lord will make that path evident as we trust Him with each step. It might look like we are going a different way than we thought we were headed, but if we are really willing to trust Him, we will see evidence of His faithfulness as He leads us. Psalm 20:7: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at email@example.com.