One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and them yelled "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.
When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???"
He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you're my Dad." His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted.
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
I once heard: "If you cannot understand the hand of God you can trust the heart of God." Pretty cheesy, I know, but true. Sometimes we do not understand our circumstances or what God might be doing with our lives. Sometimes we worry and get fearful of what we do not understand.
The Psalmist invites us to consider the value of trusting the Lord with all our heart. What keeps us from a childlike trust of the Lord? Our own understanding and wisdom. Really it is our focus. What we are looking at will determine our worry level.
Story is told of two brothers that approached the lion exhibit at the zoo. The older brother strolled up to the exhibit without any fear but the other was afraid.
Older: "What are you afraid of?"
Younger: "There's a big lion in that cage! "Aren't you the least afraid?"
Older: "No ... we are looking at two different things. You are looking at the lion ... I am looking at the cage!"
Really, what we look at will determine our trust level. We all have had times where our circumstances got the better of us. We've all taken our eyes off of the Lord and found ourselves sinking (see Matthew 14:22-32, especially v. 30). Verse 7 above tells us to not be wise in our own eyes but to fear the Lord and turn toward Him.
Last week we said that we would trust God if we had all the facts. We'd accept the diagnosis, the breakup, the breakdown, the difficulty, the job change, the difficult child, the loss of a loved one, the rejection of a friend, the loss of money, the overlooked promotion, the bouts of depression ... the list of difficult things is endless! Point is, if we had God's perspective, God's wisdom, we'd accept whatever circumstance we had and trust the Lord with it.
If you knew that your cancer would lead your family to Christ, would you accept it? If you knew your rejection at school or work glorified God, would you endure it? If you had all the facts and you KNEW that God was in the middle of it, would you not accept it?
The OT says, "when times are good rejoice. When times are bad consider, for the one that made the one made the other." God is in the midst of your life and circumstances. Right now he knows you and loves you. There is nothing going on in your world that he is unaware of. You may not have the facts but he asks you to trust him any way.
That is the way of wisdom. That is the childlike response. That is the heart that will sing out into eternity with trust. Come what may, Lord ... we will trust you.
Can you ID a couple of difficult things in your life today? More importantly, can you identify what you are looking at? Are you looking at the Lord or at your circumstances? Are you consumed with you in the process or do you see some praise bubbling up?
Have you come to the end of yourself yet? This usually is a process that takes time! Many of these things we work through have a side benefit that they teach us to not be wise in our own eyes!
Stop and turn your attention to the Lord. Accept his discipline. Gain wisdom. Ask him for some of the "facts" to help you understand. He just might give you some of that wisdom.
Like the boy in the start of this devotion, turn to the Father and jump toward him. He will always catch you. We have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live but Christ lives in us. The life that we now live we live by trusting him, the one that loved us and proved it by delivering himself up for us (Galatians 2:20, my edition).
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