Learning To Lean

I’m going through another trust lesson.

These come up when things don’t go according to my plan. In this present situation at my husband’s leading he and I had taken a leap of faith to reach out to someone living an ungodly lifestyle who cried out to us for help.

When I looked ahead in my mind, I saw the outcome I wanted—an excellent one. Then when events didn’t unfold in the way I had hoped, I felt sad/mad and disappointed. I also felt it was my duty to figure things out.

I didn’t understand why God allowed what He had. We thought we were obeying when we reached out to help this loved one. We trusted him when he said he wanted to get right with God and turn away from evil influences in his life.

Along the way as he lost interest in going to church and didn’t want to talk when I’d bring up the Lord, I knew something was wrong. I prayed what I often pray, “Lord, bring everything that’s hidden into the light.”

That’s what God did. In a matter of less than an hour one day, He exposed lying, deception, manipulation. Confrontation led to more lies and more attempts at manipulation.

After discovering the truth, I felt used and abused by someone who was pretending to get right with God, so he could gain favor with us and take advantage of our generosity.

We thought we were helping him to get off the dead end path he was on. Instead by assisting him we were making it easier for him as he remained on it. I’ve been mourning that we’ve wasted our time, energy, and resources.

But as I’ve sought the Lord to try to understand, He showed me that even though this individual didn’t come closer to the Lord, my husband and I have. Although he ignored life lessons we attempted to teach him, we learned valuable lessons.

One lesson I’m learning (or rather relearning) is to lean on the Lord instead of on my own understanding. Once again I’m brought back to verses in Proverbs.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; …Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Proverbs 3:5 & 7 (NIV 1984)

The Lord has revealed this to me: the opposite of trusting is thinking too much. I see how often I think excessively and obsessively about a situation rather than praying about it.

As I fell asleep last night, I was thinking again of this loved one who had hurt me and rejected my God—with minimal remorse.

Instead of continuing my round-and-round, fleshly thinking which leads to negative thoughts and emotions, I began to pray. Before long, I had peace.

God is assuring me that as I lean on Him–not my own understanding–and acknowledge him in all my ways, He will make my paths straight– (see Proverbs 3: 5-6) even though this loved one doesn’t desire that.

Although I can’t trust this person, I can trust the Lord. Today I’m celebrating that fact.

How about you? Is there some situation or person in your life you’re trying to figure out with excessive thinking? Turn from leaning on your own understanding and call out to the Lord in prayer. Peace will follow.

To hear more about Learning to Lean listen to my radio show, “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 5:30pm EST. Go to http://www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live.”

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About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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