God has established a paradigm to help us escape the trap of worry. This cause-and-effect principle is as much a part of creation as the law of gravity. He directs three commands to the child of God. They are our responsibility: “Trust . . . do not lean . . . acknowledge. . . .” The fourth verb—make straight—is part of a simple declaration of God’s promise, His part of the covenant. As we trust Him instead of our own perspectives and opinions, He promises to “make [our] paths straight.” This word picture alludes to the ancient practice of highway building. They cleared obstacles, filled in gaps, leveled hills, and cut straight pathways into the sides of mountains. Figuratively, the phrase means “to facilitate progress” or “to turn plans into reality.” As we trust God and deepen our personal, experiential knowledge of Him, He will facilitate our progress through life and help us successfully follow the path He has marked out for us (Psalm 139:16).
Now that we have analyzed all the vital parts, let’s put the verses back together in an extended paraphrase:
Throw yourself completely upon the Lord. Cast all your present and future needs on Him who is your intimate Savior-God . . . and find in Him your security and safety. Do this with all your mind and feeling and will. In order to make this possible, you must refuse to support yourself with the crutch of human ingenuity. Instead, study the Lord. Learn about His character, discover His plans for you and the world, be amazed by His love and concern for you in each one of your circumstances. Then He—having been granted full control of your life—will smooth out and make straight your paths, removing obstacles along the way.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.