We have a new dishwasher, not because we wanted one, but because our old one leaked, destroying our kitchen floor in the process. We didn’t know how much we depended on a dishwasher until we didn’t have one for six weeks. We gained a new appreciation for this modern convenience, but I have an issue with the new machine. I haven’t figured out how to arrange the dishes and cups yet. While the dishwasher is basically the same as the old one, the prongs differ just enough that my previous methods of arranging the various lunch containers, water bottles, and glasses don’t quite work. I’ll learn to adjust eventually, but in the meantime, I find myself frustrated on a daily basis.
So often, our lives change, not necessarily because we want them to change, but because that’s simply how life works. The changes may not be drastic or major. Maybe it’s just a new schedule or a slightly different set of circumstances. We may think the changes shouldn’t affect us so much because they aren’t that big, but the little things can certainly throw us for a loop too. The adjustments may take longer or feel more daunting than we anticipated. But we believe we should handle the small stuff without difficulty even though that’s not always the case. And when we face those minor challenges, we may think that we shouldn’t bother God with such things when there are so many other, greater troubles in the world.
One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is familiar to many: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV). To me, God is saying he wants to know everything that bothers us, makes us feel unbalanced, or throws us off kilter. We need to bring all of ourselves and every last one of our concerns to God. I’ve realized that if I’m filtering what issues I bring to God because I don’t think they’re significant enough, I’m not acknowledging God in all ways. Instead, I’m relying on my own insight to determine my actions, including the decision not to communicate openly and honestly with God. God wants a relationship with us in which we tell God all the ways in which we feel lacking or that we’re coming up short. God does not want us to hide from him because we think we should handle things with more ease.
If we invite God into the everyday situations in life, sharing everything with God, he will help us straighten out the problems we’re facing. God can help us see things more clearly and react more calmly. Or God can provide comfort when we simply have to grit our teeth to get through the changing terrain of life. When we look to God for guidance instead of relying on ourselves, our trust in God will grow, which will ultimately make our relationship with God stronger and deeper.