Friday, 19 April 2013

Leaning on my own understanding

Well you were reading between the lines, weren't you, Lord?

I suppose that's not strictly accurate, is it, as you are the One from whom no secrets are hidden... so I can never be oblique with you. Yesterday I said that I wasn't going to ask why my life continues to be strewn with large boulders to climb over, but you know me better than that. You know me so well that you understand the subtext for all those times when I answer 'How are you?' with a grumpy, 'Fine'. You know me so well that you know the agenda when I scowl and say 'Alright then'

You made me. 

So yesterday I don't ask 'Why?' and today you explain to me.

My daily devotional email today was on the text:
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.'
Proverbs 3:5-6
Rick Warren, he of 'The Purpose Driven Life' said this:
'...understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path (that God sets before you).'
So it's not surprising that I don't know where I am, let alone where I'm going. Your timing is just perfect, isn't it? I needed to hear these very words today
'The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day.'
Proverbs 4:18
Maybe one day I'll see the full picture. Maybe one day I'll see the other side of the tapestry and not just the messy ends of the threads. Maybe one day I'll understand why the pattern on my carpet is one of anxiety and confusion at the moment.

I'm waiting for my 'gleam of dawn'. Like the first time I notice that the days are getting longer in Spring and it feels as if a long, long, winter is finally receding. Like being exhausted and lonely in the night when you're awake for hours with a newborn baby and suddenly you notice that it's dawn and morning is coming. It's the spark of hope.

Rick tells me to be patient. I need to have patience. You know what you're doing. I know you know what you're doing. It just frustrates me sometimes that I don't know what you're doing. I know that you want what's best for me, and I know that you want what's best for my family too, and family at Church as well as we struggle to grow and plan for the future.

I know that you have a Plan. I know that you are Almighty God and you can see the end from the beginning where I can only look backwards and see how far I've come - the path in front only seems to appear after I've taken a scary step into nothing.

I'm trying to trust you. I'm trying, honestly. It's just that those steps take it out of me. I find myself groping in the darkness and reaching for a handrail; sometimes I find that I grab hold of your hand and sometimes I can't feel it there. Sometimes my steps feel safe and sometimes it's as if the ground crumbles under me.  I believe that you'll catch me when I fall. I do.
'...all the things that make you ask 'why?' - one day all will be clear in the light of God's love.'
says Rick. So because I'm the sort of person who likes to have things sewn up - I am thinking that sometime there'll come a day when I'll understand. All will become clear. I just have to learn to live without that clarity now.

I need to live with the murk. To put one foot in front of the other not knowing what I might tread in, so to speak.  For you're there too.

I'm finding it hard, Lord. Even when I don't ask why I'm wondering why. I'm also wondering what, whether, how much, for how long, and when will it end. When things are going my way I don't wonder those things half so much, do I?
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.'Proverbs 3:5-6
Well, leaning on my understanding is like leaning on an open door. I fall over. Or I spin around grabbing for things and finding nothing to hold onto and I'm all off balance so I make a big fuss.

Submit? Sigh. Do I have an alternative?

Thought not. 

Tell you what, I'll do my best to submit, and you come across with the straight path. Does that work for you? 

You said so, so I guess it does.

It's a deal.

I trust you.

(Edited and reposted from June 2011. The more things change, the more they stay the same, hey?)


  1. I'm just coming out of one of the greatest trials of my life and been upheld by so much from people on here. Never before have I trusted so much and never before have I known peace like it.
    It's been an absolute revelation that I wish I'd learned years ago. Today I was reading this about the devil having a go because I trusted so much. I'm ready, that's all I can say. Praying for you in your situation x

    1. Thank you. Thanks for reading, taking the trouble to comment, and for linking up on Twitter. Your encouragement means a lot.

  2. You echo what so many of us are feeling, Helen. Faith walking can be like groping blindly for the handle to find our way out of a dark room. If only there was light enough to see further. Just in front of our eyes feels too limited. And in the end it comes down to submission and trust in the One who knows us and the way ahead far better than we ever can. Right there with you. Let's take His hand and grip tight. Love and blessings, my friend :) xx

    1. Thank you, Joy. It means so much when someone says, 'I know what you mean'.
      Seems very frightening at the moment.

  3. I've loved all your posts lately; I always want to respond intelligently and haven't had time (or brain cells) to make that happen. This is so where I've been all winter. With spring, I almost see dawn, but the direction still isn't clear. The wait is challenging, but like you, I think it might be as much (or more) the point as the destination.

  4. It feels as if it's been a long, long, winter, doesn't it?
    Thanks for dropping in, Ginger. Here's to Spring. Yes please.


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