Recently a friend shared that she was leaning on Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding NRSV In turn, I shared that I embrace Jeremiah 29:11For surely I know the plans I have or you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. NRSV
Do you see the similar theme? We both are trying to F.R.O.G. Fully Rely On God. (If that's copyright infringement, my apologies to the clever creator of this acronym.)
Fully relying on God can seem naive and simplistic. It does not equal sitting in my house and waiting for a bag of money to drop into my lap. But nowhere in the Bible does it say, "God helps those who help themselves." NOWHERE.
There is a happy medium, a happy place.
God has a plan. I believe that. I believe we need to trust in the Lord. I believe that we can follow God's word and do our very best humanly possible to follow God and we still might not have sweetness and light. THAT is not what God promises.
I admit I get annoyed when well-meaning Christians say that if we just follow God hard enough, true enough, with enough conviction and piety, life will work out. As if people who don't trust God are the only people who face struggles. I want to point them to the book of Job. That man lived a blameless and Godly life and yet he went through some awful trials. Job never turned from God but he did have some questions for Him. Job's friends were like the well-meaning folks I spoke of before, I think. "Confess your sins. You're not blameless. Surely you've done something..." In the end, Job's fortunes were replaced twofold.
In the end...we don't know what or when the end of our own trials will be. Sometimes we long for things that do not come in our time or ever. Sometimes, we make plans and we hit roadblocks and "bridge is out" signs time and time again.
Lean not on our own understanding and have hope because God has a plan.