“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
In a recent interview with Fox News, the most well-known female radio host in the country, Delilah Rene, spoke about heartbreak and how her faith kept her grounded. During the interview, she talked about her most recent publication, One Heart at a Time, that details the finding of her faith and how it “saved her sanity.”
At 21, she had married a man by the name of George Harris who also worked in the radio industry. Shortly after the birth of her first child, Isaiah, Harris left her. A few months later, tragedy struck harder when she found out her brother and his wife had died in a plane crash on their way to visit her and Isaiah.
Although she didn’t grow up in a religious home, she distinctly remembers lying in her bed one evening after all the heartache she had suffered and said, “God, if you’re real, I need to know.” The following day she discovered a Bible on her windshield with a message that said, “Jesus loves you.”
Years later, Delilah lost one of her fourteen children, Sammy, to sickle cell disease and while she was writing One Heart at a Time, her 18-year-old son, Zack committed suicide. But yet her faith kept her strong.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a passage of scripture that gets quoted quite often—and for good reason. But it is one of those “often memorized, seldom applied” parts of the Bible in which the rich meaning can be lost or forgotten.
The word faith means to trust or put your complete confidence in something or someone. We all put faith into action whether we know it or not. Whenever you sit down in a chair without thinking, you are trusting that it is constructed in such a way that it will hold your weight.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart” implies totality, not merely effort. In this context, the term heart isn’t in relation to your feelings. It’s all about 100% commitment. “Lean not on your own understanding” means that you aren’t dependent on “how much faith” you have but rather “who you have your faith in.”
You must “acknowledge Him” in every facet of your life so that he can show you how to respond and call out for help. When Christians place their faith in themselves or any other thing that isn’t God, they travel down the wrong, crooked path. The object of our faith is vital, not just faith itself.
No one can speak for Delilah and her faith other than herself and God “for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind” (1 Kings 8:39b). We can be encouraged by people like Delilah who have suffered so much tragedy and come out on the other end praising God. But her faith is hers alone.
If you feel that your faith is suffering or that it isn’t “working,” I encourage you to not only read Proverbs 3:5-6 but apply it. Solomon is instructing us “not [to] lean on [our] own understanding.” If not ours, then whose? God’s of course.
The word lean is an action word, something that must be practiced not just believed and meditated on. Lean into God and rely on him for all matters of life. You can exhaust yourself by putting your faith in people and things that cannot support you. No amount of effort can increase your faith if it’s not found in the Lord.