Proverbs 3:5-6 (CEB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
    and he will keep your ways straight.


I have been wondering a lot about the word, “trust,” and how this psychological construct happens. (I am a geek for all things psychology.) This is especially because we have just adopted a new puppy. Mind you, we did our homework and we are experienced dog people. 

It was just before Christmas and I thought we’d look a little more before the right dog would come along. But when a small, seemingly quiet puppy crawled up onto my daughter’s lap and camped out there, my husband declared, “Oh, that’s the one.” The puppy seemed so quiet and for the moment her shyness belied the tiny trouble that brewed beneath. In fact, I have trained several dogs before, the last of which I trained to stay on our property without a fence or a leash. 

However, before we knew it, all the puppy’s shyness was gone and now we were left with a teething, peeing, jumping, baby gremlin with unlimited energy. Suddenly, I had met my match! When my typical attempts to get her to be obedient proved ineffective, I found myself scratching my head. Hmm, this was so much easier with my other dogs. 

Standing in my backyard, calling her name, “Millie,” and trying to get her to “Come” on command, I think, how are we ever going to get her to listen? Moreover, how will we get her to trust us and want to come when we call? We can’t just drag the dog around and force her to comply. That will make for an unhappy dog and likely more unhappy parents. 

Hmm, My Lord must be really patient with me. My dog has me wondering about my relationship to the divine. Oh, how often must God ask the same questions of me!

What will it take to really get her to trust me? What will it take to get her to rely on My Path and not just her own?

As we consult a dog trainer for Millie, I hear the trainer say, “It’s about the relationship that you build with your dog.” Patience, I think. Trust. Millie will come to me every time, when she knows that she can trust me for good reasons. Patience, I think. Likewise, My God has been so patient with me.

Later, I wonder some more about the trusting relationship with My Lord. I must trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”, but this of course is more easily said than done. Nonetheless, this verse starts off with the word, “Trust” with a capital “T,” which reminds me that it is My Lord who is the one who is/was trustworthy, first. Furthermore, I can trust God to hear me and to know me completely. Lastly, the Lord trusts that I have all the capabilities to be a trusting, faith-filled, servant, even when I fall short of living in godly ways. 

Therefore, I must also willingly trust in God. In truth, although the most basic premise of our relationship is “love,” it takes “trust” for any relationship to really become something more. I cannot grow and extend my lasting relationship with God, or anyone else, without first having “trust.” I must trust in My God for my daily choices and needs. Likewise, I hope that one day, Millie will trust me with that same assurance.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

God asks us to trust God and not to just rely on our own intelligence. There are many biblical verses, including psalms and proverbs, as well as hymns that attest to our need to trust in God. God is the One that we can ultimately trust without regret. Who or what reminds you to trust God in all that you do? What lessons about trust have you found in your own life?

Gracious God, you continue to be the One I can always trust. Guide me, Lord. Create in me a heart of trust and love for you and your pathways. Amen.