I recently came across one of my old journals. Here is an excerpt from the last entry:
“After Tuesday night’s deflating, confusing and frustrating meeting, I returned home very weary and emotionally fragile. Before heading to bed I looked in on each of the kids. They were sleeping soundly, seemingly without a care in the world and fully at peace under their parent’s care. I tossed and turned through the night. After tossing and turning through the night, I asked myself, “The kids are at peace under our care – why aren’t I at peace under God’s care?”
At the heart of this question is a core biblical theme – trust. Unfortunately, I’m often too slow in trusting. Instead, I choose to push ahead in my own strength and on my own timeline. My strong work ethic may seem focused on moving things forward, but it can also be a camouflage for my own disbelief and fear. The result is stress and fatigue.
Proverbs 21:31 speaks to the issue of trust for leaders. It says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” The first half of the verse implies that leaders do need to do some things in making the horse ready for battle. Leaders do need to be good and faithful stewards who apply due diligence through praying and planning, casting vision and modeling the way, gathering and aligning resources, as well as equipping and empowering people.
However, the first half of this verse can be dangerous without the second half. The second half clearly points out that although the leader must be a faithful steward, victory does not rest with the leader. Instead, victory rests with the Lord. Verse 30 reinforces this point, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.”
There is a freedom for leaders in the truth that victory ultimately rests with the Lord. We do need to be faithful stewards but we cannot control outcomes or even timelines.
Rather than frantically pressing forward in our own strength and trying to carry the burdens, our posture needs to be one of dependence, surrender and trust in the Lord.
Trusting God is a choice and an act of obedience. Trusting God is for our own good.
We should not attempt to carry burdens that are not ours to carry. As we continue to seek to be good stewards in preparing the horses for battle, may our trust in the Lord bring deep peace and great hope.
Reflection Questions and Application
Are you carrying any burdens that you shouldn’t? Where are you trying to force your way rather than trust God’s way? If anything comes to mind, take a moment to confess your independence, disbelief and fears. Then, choose to give and trust this area to the Lord’s able care.