Lean Not On Your Own Understanding



I read a story about a monk who needed oil, so he planted an olive sapling. Then he began to tell God all that needed to happen. He prayed for rain and the Lord sent gentle showers. Then he prayed for sun—“My tree needs sun”—and the sun shone. “Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues.” The little tree stood sparkling with frost, but that evening died.

The next day, the monk sought out a wise mentor and shared his strange experience. The mentor said, “I, too, planted a little tree, and see, it thrives.” He then went on to explain how from the beginning, he had entrusted his tree to God. The mentor said, “He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not the ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs,’ I prayed, ‘storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost.’ Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.’”1

This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.

1Adapted from Streams in the Desert, Barbor Publishing, 1928.


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