The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, August 22, 2022, comes to us from Jessica E. Dutton of Maine.

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 NRSV



To celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary, my husband and I took ballroom dancing lessons – something we had wanted to do for years! Before we learned the basic steps to the foxtrot, waltz, and merengue, our instructor taught us proper dancing position. He showed us where to place our hands and told us to imagine we had swallowed broomsticks so we would stand tall and straight. Then he instructed me to let my left shoulder rest firmly in my husband’s hand so my husband could easily guide me across the dance floor. Yet, instead of trusting his guiding hand, I often tried to anticipate the next steps or even completely take over, resulting in a misstep and loss of rhythm.

That advise about ballroom dancing has stuck with me because of its broader application. How often do we ignore God’s guiding hand and try to guess and plan the best steps forward? How often do we take over; thinking we know best? Yet all the while God is present to guide us if we trust ourselves to God’s loving care. Truly there could be no better guide than our faithful God.


I remember the first time I was introduced to the concept of “group projects” in school. Group projects were an exercise in trust, as receiving a good grade depended upon each member of the group sharing the workload. More often than not, I was in groups where each member made contributions. However, I remember the groups were one or more members contributed little to nothing to the group, but who hoped to benefit from the efforts of the rest of the group. In those instances, our group had to rely on the discernment of the instructors to effectively evaluate each members contribution, or the lack thereof.

Trusting others is, at times, very difficult. Trust requires that we allow someone else to be responsible for something that impacts our lives. Yet, when we find someone that is trustworthy, it offers us a measure of freedom that is liberating. Jessica’s reflection on learning to trust her husband’s lead as they danced, reminds us that in order to deepen our relationship with God we must learn to trust God more. When our relationship with God takes priority in our lives, we are entrusting ourselves to God’s care, relying on God to lead us along the best paths for our lives.

--Pastor Anthony


Dear Father, thank you for your steadying presence when we lose our rhythm. Help us trust you to guide us each and every day. Amen.

--Jessica E. Dutton

Prayer Focus:

For a deeper trust in God

Thought for the day:

I can always trust God to guide my steps.