Learning and Leaning
1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 3Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 4Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. —psalm 25:1-5
The writer of Psalm 25 is crying out in desperation and despair. It's David in pursuit of total trust upon God. Let me suggest that ultimate trust always involves learning and leaning. Trust is never on automatic pilot; never OK God, now I trust You, so what’s next on the agenda? Everyday is a new day to trust. We choose to trust. Every experience in life becomes a new way to learn about trust and a new opportunity to lean on God. This principle is important to remember in those moments when you don't know what to do.
Have you ever had a time in your life when you didn't know what to do? The answer when you don't know what to do is to trust. Don’t let that get by you. What do you do when you don't know what to do? Trust. That's what David is learning and leaning into in Psalm 25.
When I'm training pastors about preaching, I tell them I like to think about buckets; and a lot of the content from Psalm 25 could go into a bucket called "learn," things we need to learn about God so we trust Him better. David’s facing some situations in his life that are forcing him to trust (or not)—he’s got to make that choice. And he’s learning that the choice isn’t always easy.
And then a second category of things in Psalm 25 are more along the lines of ways of trusting God or things that we do that amount to trusting God. I'm going to call this "leaning." Some of the truth in this text is going in the “learn” bucket, some of it is going in the “lean” bucket; but all of it's going to be about this matter of trusting God better, especially when you don't know what to do.
Take a few minutes to read through David’s prayer. Then think about what’s ahead of you today. Would you say at this point that today is about learning to trust in God or leaning into God? You’re going to find out as you live this day.—James MacDonald
· At the end of this day, make it a point to note here whether this was a day for leaning on God or a day for learning new lessons about trusting God. Or both.
Father in heaven, accept David’s prayer as my prayer today: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.” I’m learning to trust even as I lean in trust on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.