Monday, October 13, 2014

Jeremiah 17:5-8 -- On Well-Placed Trust

"Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
Jeremiah 17:5-8

It's hard for us to hear this message sometimes, because our friends and our families are around us, and trusting in them feels more solid sometimes than trusting in a much more trustworthy, but less immediately tactile God.  We trust in them as our leaders, as our heroes, and as our role models.  And we can live like that... but as these verses tell us, we'll be like scrub brush in the desert, constantly struggling.  If we trust in the Lord instead, we can be much more.  We can still thrive in the midst of trouble.
So, does this mean that friends and family are disposable, or that we have to make it alone and not associate with anyone?  Not at all.  God values other people.  He values relationships and love and wants us to build each other up and encourage and help.  What it does mean is that God has to come first on our priority list.  Before family.  Before friends.  Before everything.  Ezra Taft Benson in the April 1988 conference talk "The Great Commandment—Love the Lord" put it this way:
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.

We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives."
It can be tough to put the Lord before the more immediate demands of the people around us, just like it is hard to put God before our own desires, but I love President Benson's promise to us here... that if we do so, everything else will fall into place.  Putting God first will help everything else work.  Today, let's make sure we are putting God first in our priorities, and as we do, let's allow him to help us prioritize all the rest.  Like the tree planted by the waters, I think we'll find that our lives go a lot better that way.

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