Picture the scene… it was early spring a few years back, and the ice and remaining snow were beginning to melt. The parking lot I was crossing was an obstacle course of melting ice patches and puddles. I chose to maneuver the course by stepping on the ice patches rather than stepping through puddles. Needless to say, it wasn’t long till I resembled the girl in the picture. As I stepped onto one of those patches, I must have stepped ‘just right’…or maybe I should say, ‘just wrong!’ Once I took that step, I was stuck. With every attempt to move, I knew what was coming. So, I just stood there and waited till someone came along to help me get off that ice patch.
I thought of this day not too long ago while my husband and I were maneuvering a life bump. I often felt as if we were standing on one of those ice patches---not knowing how to get off safely.
I thought of Proverbs 3:5-6 (a favorite of many) and asked my husband how long till God helped us to safely step off our ice patch.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
As part of that discussion, another scene came to mind. I shared with my husband that this passage from Proverbs reminded me of walking along an unfamiliar garden path, carefully following the nicely laid out stepping stones…when all the sudden, the stones stopped. There were no more stones to follow. Where do you step next?
Combining the illustrations of being stuck on a slippery ice patch and running out of stepping stones, I was stumped.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust and acknowledge. An understanding of these two imperatives should answer the whole worrisome question as to how to step off the ice patch and where to step next as we journey along our daily path.
Trust: “Rely on, depend on with the sense of being completely confident and feeling utterly safe.” (Mounce)
Acknowledge: While I was trying to decide how to summarize the lexical and commentary comments for “acknowledge Him”, I heard the following statement in an unrelated interview. It summarized my thoughts perfectly. (Due to the sensitivity of the interview, I decided to not use a name.)
The interviewee stated, “There is nothing to do except to trust the system I believe in.”
THAT is what it means to ‘acknowledge Him’.
Simply stated, Proverbs 3:6 admonishes us to recognize that the One in whom we rely on is trustworthy, and that He alone is worthy of our commitment and trust.
Whether you are stuck on that ‘ice patch’ or you have ‘run out of stepping stones’, rest in this thought:
Rely on God with complete confidence rather than your own understanding. Recognize Him as trustworthy and commit to Him… and He will direct your paths (make your way straight). He will provide the next stepping stone and will help you take that next step!
Trust and Acknowledge,
Mounce, William H., Mounce's Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids): Zondervan. 2006.