“This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed (miserable) 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, The New Living Translation)
Just when I think I have placed all of my hope in the Lord, a trial or a huge disappointment comes along and WHAM! I realize that maybe my hoping in Him needs a little boost. Can I get a witness out there?
Why, oh WHY, is it so difficult to completely trust Someone that I love so much? I guess it’s our human nature. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is deceitful above all things.” Ain’t that the truth?
I like how The Message translates verse 6, “He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows.”
That is exactly how it feels when I realize that I have placed my hope and trust in someone or something other than Christ alone. I feel just like a tumbleweed blowing around in the hot, arid desert – tossed to and fro, no direction – just flung about on the whim of a breeze. And yes, it is a miserable feeling – cursed!
I have a lot of dreams for my writing and speaking ministry. I work hard at it, bathe it in prayer and listen for the Lord’s direction. A few days ago I found out that I was not one of the recipients for a scholarship to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference to be held at Ridgecrest in Black Mountain, NC in May. Talk about disappointment. In this day and age of publishing, attending writers’ conferences is vital to stepping up your career. It is a really big deal – a really, big EXPENSIVE deal! I just knew I was going to get a scholarship – or at least I dreamed of the possibility.
Talk about disappointment. I indulged myself in a mega self-doubting, wallowing pity-party for most of that morning! My precious husband, David, prayed for me and spoke encouragement over me and then I rested in the arms of my Jesus.
Wanna know what He said?
Remember when Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, do you love Me?”
Well, He said to me, “Nan, do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord. I trust You.”
“Then give Me your future.”
He said to me again, “Nan, do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord, I trust You”
“Then give Me your gifts of writing and speaking.”
And a third time He said, “Nan, will you place your hope in Me and in Me alone?”
“Yes, Lord. That is the desire of my heart.”
“Then take My hand, stop trying to get ahead of Me and know that I am directing your steps.”
COMPLETE hope and trust is a hard lesson, isn’t it? Our spirits are very willing, but our flesh is oh so weak. But I am learning that hope and trust are a lot like faith – it is a learning process, a “growing up” in spiritual maturity. I know I have come a long way in this department, but I also know I have a long way to go. It is my prayer that you, my sweet readers, will grow in leaps and bounds in learning to place your hope in the One True God – not just SOME hope, but ALL of your hope – completely trusting in, relying upon, depending upon and leaning on those everlasting arms.
For blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Father, Thank You for loving me in spite of me. And thank You for Your peace in my moment of despair. Lord, teach each of us how to totally abandon ourselves in Your love. You are our all-in-all. We know Your power. We know Your love. Help us to stretch deep roots into Your streams of Living Water where complete hope and trust abide. You are wonderful, Lord. We praise Your Holy Name!