Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
Texts like this remind us of something we already know: that God’s ways are preferable to our ways. He loves us and wants the best for us and he knows what is best for us.
So why am I, and presumably others, so nervous about letting God have his way with us? Why am I, the piece of clay, so worried that the potter might make a mess of things and thus suggest to God that he take his hands away and let me shape my own life?
The explanation probably relates to an improper fear of God. Honouring and having reverence for him is proper fear. Being scared he will damage us is improper fear. Do we trust him to look after us? Do we really believe his way is better than our way?
Those of us who have entrusted ourselves to medical and other professionals accept that they can treat us properly even though that treatment might cause us some pain. We acknowledge their expertise and experience and give up any attempt to take over and do things our way.
And yet when it comes to trusting God we are only too ready to take control from him and push him aside, believing we know best. Giving up our desire and our right to control our own lives is the ongoing challenge of discipleship. Along with that other challenge: having reverential fear of God without being afraid of him.