Trusting God when I don't understand
By Rick Warren
— March 7, 2010
"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 (NIV)
When the children of Israel were finally set free from Egypt after 400 years of slavery, they started marching out to freedom and the first thing they came to was the Red Sea. There were impassable mountain ranges on two sides of them, the sea in front of them.
Behind them, in hot pursuit, was the Egyptian army because the Pharaoh had changed his mind about letting them go. The path before the Israelites looked like a dead end.
But God knew exactly what He wanted to do. He had not made a mistake. He could see what they could not see. He opened the Red Sea and they walked through to safety. Years later, the Israelites looked back and sang, "Your road led by a pathway through the sea—a pathway no one knew was there!" (Psalm 77:19 LB).
You may be facing a dead end right now—financial, emotional, relational—but God can see a path that you don't know about. If you will trust God and keep on moving in faith, even when you don't see a way, He will make a way.
It will become more understandable as you head down the path he sets before you, but understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path. Proverbs 4:18 says, "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day" (NIV). One day you will stand in the full light of eternity and view the big picture. You'll see God's purpose behind the path He specifically chose for you.
What do I do in the meantime? You do what Proverbs 3 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." What does He mean "don't lean on your own understanding"? You don't need to try to figure it out. In truth, you're not going to understand most of the things that happen in your life until you get to heaven.
Be patient. God knows what He's doing. God knows what's best for you. He can see the end result. You can't. All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays -- all the things that make you ask "why" -- one day it will all be clear in the light of God's love.
But for now, we're learning to trust God.