ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5,6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; lean not to thine own understanding. But in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path."
This is a scripture that I've read, recited, sung, and heard preached for all of my life. It sounds like such a simple exhortation, yet I find it a difficult one to follow.

I've spent more than thirty years of my life in the formal pursuit of understanding, and have a drawer full of certificates, diplomas and degrees to prove it. How many times have I struggled for hours, days or weeks with an idea, a concept or a process in order to gain that precious understanding. As a teacher I eagerly anticipate that "aha" moment of enlightenment with one of my students. As a parent, too, I anxiously reviewed homework problems with a "Do you understand this?"

"Sure, Mom. No problem," came the confident reply.

And I usually find that my understanding is sufficient to gain the objective whether it's that all-important degree, a doctoral research paper, measuring a room for new carpet or filling out insurance forms. If my own personal understanding doesn't suffice to accomplish the task, it suffices me to find an expert knowledgeable in that area.

Now, I realize that Solomon is telling me that to serve God I may no longer rely on that tried and true method. After all these years of study, he says, "Forget it! It's not worth relying on."

Peter discovered this when he eagerly hopped out of the boat to take a stroll on the raging waters of the Sea of Galilee. He was fine, too, until his understanding kicked in. Suddenly it no longer seemed such a bright idea to be traipsing over white-capped waves in a strong wind. Predictably, he began to sink. Peter did know enough, however, to call on the one who could save him. Surely enough he found himself in the boat with the waves quieted because Jesus came to his rescue.

Now I could find it easy to criticize Peter for forgetting to trust in the Lord when he looked at the waves. However, I must give him credit: he hopped out of the boat first. I find myself looking at circumstances and wondering if I can even stand up in the boat, much less climb out of it. It's very hard for God to direct my path if I'm not even moving!

So today, I commit my ways anew to God and ask for the courage of Peter to ignore circumstances and simply walk to meet Jesus. Today that means walk in faith toward good health.

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