Trust in the Lord

Yael Eckstein  |  December 29, 2023

Elderly man flipping through a book while he's about to walk outside.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding
— Proverbs 3:5

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs. One of the 11 books in the Hebrew Bibleknown as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

An inspiring story is told about a woman who witnessed her entire family being taken away to the death camps during the Holocaust and who was the only one to survive. She made her way to America where she married and looked forward to starting a family. Yet, twelve years passed, and the woman remained childless. One day, her doctor said to her, “I’m telling you this for your own good: Give up! You will never have a child. It’s time to move on.”

The woman left the doctor’s office understandably depressed. She boarded a bus, but when her stop came, she didn’t get off. She spent the whole day on that bus in a state of despair until the driver informed her that the day was done, and she had to get off. He said, “Listen lady, I don’t know what your problem is, but you’re not going to solve it by staying on this bus.”

The woman got off the bus and prayed quietly, “God, You were with me all along. You saved my life countless times. You brought me here. You let me start my life over, and so it is in Your hands. I have no right to give up. The bus driver is absolutely right—You didn’t save my life for me to live on the Madison Avenue bus. I won’t stop serving You no matter what and I also won’t give up.”

One year later, she had a baby. By the time the woman passed away at a ripe old age, she was the grandmother and great-grandmother to many children.

Trust in the Lord

In Proverbs we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” The original Hebrew reveals a deeper understanding of this popular verse. In Hebrew, instead of “Trust in the LORD,” the verse literally reads, “Trust toward the LORD.”

According to the Jewish sages, this anomaly teaches us that our faith in God cannot live in the past. Rather, our trust in God must be propelled toward the future. We have to use our past experiences of God’s providence to build a future based on faith. We must anticipate a good future shaped and created perfectly by our faithful God—just as He always has.

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