In our Sunday School class today we talked about the wisdom that can be found in the book of Proverbs in the Bible.
There are some pretty incredible things to ponder on in there.
We ended the lesson with perhaps the most famous verse in Proverbs:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
The teacher asked if anyone had an experience to share about when they trusted in God.
There were a couple beautiful experiences shared.
One woman shared how she learned to trust God after her husband was killed in a car accident, leaving her alone with all her small children. She related that she didn’t know if her roots in her relationship with God would be as strong had she not had to maneuver through that agonizing sorrow.
Another woman shared how she learned to put her trust in God after her divorce when she couldn’t make things work to pay her bills as a single mother. She related how each time she was in the most dire circumstances, something came along to carry her through.
As I listened I thought about my own struggles. The ones that have brought me to tears over and over this last week. Trying to teach my children, even the grown ones. Trying to help Lucy carry her burdens that I don’t think any child should have to carry.
But as I thought of the experiences shared in that Sunday School class, I realized those women had the opportunity to look back and recognize the times when they had to dig deep and keep turning to the Lord.
I wondered if they realized how they were being refined in the midst of the toughest parts. During the times when they were still encircled in the heavy darkness.
Sometimes that “trusting in the lord with all thy heart” thing has to happen in steps, over and over and over again.
These women conscientiously chose to “turn” their faces and their hearts to God again and again.
And again, to get to where they are.
Even when sometimes I’m sure it felt as if He had forsaken them.
Sometimes you’re in the black, darkness for a long, long time. Years and years. Sometimes your whole life.
Sometimes you get the added advantage to look back in your wake and realize you DID IT!
And sometimes you don’t.
I was texting with another friend after church who’s brother fell through the attic a few weeks ago and is currently paralyzed from the waist down. He has five younger children. My friend related that they are still praying for a miracle to reestablish some of the nerve connections he has lost, but that they know he is in God’s hands, and that “mentally he and his family are doing great” and will trust the outcome come what may.
I teared up as read that text.
Anyone who can deal with adversity like that has trained themselves to turn to God over and over and over again.
Sometimes we need friends to help train us in that trust:
Sometimes I think angels can watch over us and help us learn that trust.
Sometimes it takes lots of sitting and pondering, and being willing to dig deep.
(I obviously adore Brian Kershisnik and Caitlin Connolly’s paintings, they bring me so much deeper into my thoughts.)
May we all remember that “even still there is hope” as we do the work of “turning” our faces and our hearts to God.
Over and over and over again through the darkness that comes.