"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
Recently I had the privledge (or responsibility...the jury is still out on this) of putting together a loft bed for my daughter. I am certainly not a builder and do not have much confidence in myself to come up with something like that on my own, but, I can read. Not reading the directions is how I am inclined, as I like to try to figure things out on my own, usually has never led me with a finished product that I am proud of or feel safe with! Having the responsibility to put this bed together for daughter, who is definitely daddy's princess, meant that I had to trust something bigger than my own creativity and imagination to get the job done. I would have to read the directions and then trust those directions and the finished product enough to place the weight of my princess on top. When the bed was complete the night before Christmas morning, it looked like a loft bed. I had read the directions, actually used all the pieces with none leftover (except one, but I think it was extra), but the moment of truth wouldn't be reality until I was willing to lay the weight of my daughter on the bed. Only then could my trust in the directions be verified as authentic.
When Solomon wrote Proverbs 3:5-6, it was a truth he had come to know, but one in which he would certainly live in contradiction. Reading his last writing, Ecclesiastes, however, would show Solomon coming home to the truth he had once come to know. Trusting in God means NOT leaning on your own understanding, logic, abilities, or control.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." The word TRUST is one that means to place the weight of what you carry onto something else. In this context it would be to place it on God. The word HEART gives the picture of the very core your being, the center of all your will, mind, emotions, passions, desires, and inclinations. Trust God with that! Whatever you are feeling, trust God enough to lay that on Him. People may not understand how you think, what you feel, or what's going on on the inside of you. God does, but you'll never know unless you choose to stop carrying it and place it on Him. Talking about it isn't the same as doing it. Praying about it isn't the same as doing it. Saying 'amen' when the preacher says it isn't the same as doing it. Place the weight of what matters to you on God. He cares.
"...and lean not on your own understanding..." Once you have trusted God with the weight of your burden, leave it there. Why take it back and try to lean on something you already know can fail you, because it already has. If you have ever failed yourself with what you know, you have already disqualified yourself from the ability to have a perfect plan. God's track record is still perfect. Your understanding is what has gotten you into some of the fixes you've found yourself in. Don't lean on that. Lean on the God who created you, breathed life into you, spoke purpose into you, and who chooses to love and walk with you. Look to His words of truth for understanding. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you in widsom and guide you in all truth. Surround yourself with people you trust who are also living in dependence on God. Living as though you have a monopoly on all understanding will only expose the real truth in that you don't really understand a thing.
"...in all your ways submit to Him..." The word SUBMIT is actually translated from the word 'to know.' It is the same word used in the Greek in Mary's response to the angel, Gabriel, about the confusion about the news that she would be pregnant. "How can this be, for I have never KNOWN a man." The word is a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse, but also means to know fully, perceive completely, and to come to understanding in an intimate and experiential way. Therefore, in all your ways, be intimate with God. Don't use God for what suits you, meets your needs, or until the novelty of the feeling wears off. Submit to Him. Choose to know Him. Choose to experience Him on a constant basis, regardless of the ebs and flows of the feelings. Seek to experience God despite the feelings, thoughts, and inclinations that might be vying for position in the front seat of your mind. Choose to let God be, not just number one, but the ONLY ONE who controls not the steering wheel, but the GPS of your life. Submitting to Him means 'you may be behind the will, but you've chosen to go the way He has led.'
"...and He will make your paths straight." It's a win-win every time. It may not always feel or look like a success, but when you have trusted God in all things and with all things, He will cause you to see straight when everything appeared so bent and crooked. It is much more common to act based on what you see and not on what God has said. When you respond to life based on the path YOU SEE, you will never walk in the direction God has called you on the path He has already paved. Trusting Him is the only way to see a crooked path through your eyes, but walking in faith with Him on the same path, only to find it straightening out. God sees in the future what you cannot see in the present. Trust Him. He will direct you. He will work it out for you. He will always be with you.