Saturday, June 19, 2010

My mother-in-law's wisdom

We went to family camp in Chattanooga a few weeks ago.  That basically means Anna took care of all our children for a week (actually nothing new about that) and I "visited" for the weekend.  During the mornings there was time for family devotions where all the grandchildren came together in Juju's cabin and for an hour or so we would discuss Proverbs 3:5,6.  Each morning Juju would take a portion of the scripture, break it down word by word, and have the children give examples of "trust" or "lean" or "acknowledge" so that five years old to teenager had the opportunity to learn the verses in their own language.

I had reservations about whether or not you could camp out (no pun intended) on just two verses for a full week.  Really, don't trust myself but trust God, rely on His wisdom not mine, and He makes my paths straight...not too much there, right?  You should've seen Juju going around that room, each child asked the question "What does it mean to trust?" or "What does understanding mean?"  The way she engaged each one exactly where they were was incredible to see.  I heard five years olds talking about trust using examples of how the know they parents will do what they say they'll do.  Eight year olds talked about how God knows more than they do and so His understanding is better than theirs.  It was something to behold.

Anna takes after her mother like that.  You ought to see her in our house on a daily basis.  My children have wisdom beyond their years because of her and the Holy Spirit.  I find myself often looking to Anna when I'm trying to explain something to the children and saying, "Honey, what am I trying to say?"  It's as if the Father gave me an interpreter who understands both adult and child.  Anna speaks in pictures, analogies, metaphors; her wheelhouse is communication.

For whatever reason one of the words that stood out to me was "lean" in verse 5.  It's interesting to me that the Lord does not say, "Blindly do what I tell you to with no thought whatsoever."  He's given me the faculty of thought, a mind that seeks to understand, and a will that executes around what my intellect decides upon.  That said, I don't lean on my understanding such that what supports the decision is me, but rather His wisdom.  I trust Him with all my heart and merely use the mind He's given me.  Again in verse 6 I am to acknowledge Him in all my ways because He is the one who will make the path straight.

I believe this is vitally important for a number of reasons.  1.  His ways are not my ways such that if I lean on what I believe to be the right answer I'm bound to make the wrong choice (Isa 55:8).  2.  He already has good works ordained for me to accomplish.  If I'm focused on what I think I won't see what He's trying to accomplish (Eph 2:10).  3.  When He created everything, the why, the how, all of it, I was no where around to comment on it or add my two cents.  My guess is He still doesn't need my two cents and that I'd be better off going with His will than mine (Job 38:4).

I also like the idea of Him "making" the path straight.  It certainly makes metaphorical sense why I can't see very far ahead as there are twist, turns, obstacles in the way.  Funny thing is, if I look behind me I see that what brought me to where I'm currently standing is a straight path.  Looking ahead, leaning on Him, seeking His will in all my ways and He goes before me straightening that path.  His perspective is such that He has an "aerial" view of the landscape.  When I fly I can see all the roads, the intersections, the mountains, etc.  Out of my window I can see lets say 20 miles in any one direction which means I can see, in a straight line, two points.  If I'm down on the earth I can't see point B from point A and there are turns I have to take to get there.  The Lord's perspective is such that He sees points A and B, the straight line between them, then He condescends to come down and make the path between them straight "on earth as it is in Heaven."

Lord, thank you for your willingness to meet me at my point of need.  Thank you for leading me in Your ways by Your Spirit.  Please keep me out of Your way long enough for You to will and act within my life to accomplish Your purposes.  I love you Father.  In Jesus' name, amen.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this post. I can relate 100%. You, like me, have a wonderful wife - who seems to know what you are trying to say or convey - if like me - sometimes more than I know myself.