Turns out we aren’t wise after all. We are limited. But when we cannot seem to get it right, when we don’t see our way forward, there’s a waiting, redeeming Creator nearby. The Lord is near. We reach out’ we know Jesus overcomes in our difficulties and failures. Life gets better. In our Connecting Streams groups we are about sharing this good news.
A 23 year old was telling me about leading a group of peers around scripture and prayer for nine months. He chose the theme:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6.
Paths are not going to be straight. What was meant for good gets bent, a bent-ness that we cannot straighten. The guys leaned into this truth with each other and the Lord. But God’s personal message for this young leader came from verse 7:
“Do not be wise in your own eyes’ fear the Lord, shun evil.”
When we are wise in our own eyes we don’t fear the Lord, we’re not as careful to shun evil, and we’re no longer trusting in the Lord with all our heart. Being pretty confident of our own understanding, chances are we aren’t praying. We miss out on the gift of being limited and we miss out on Jesus. Feeling humble before our limitations makes it not so hard to trust in God, His Lordship. Bent and crooked become straight.
An intercessor to this youth leader finds it easy to pray over this young man. She says she can tell much prayer has covered him in his early years. He grew up in a very difficult time and place’ low-grade risk was common in their community. The family was there in response to God’s call, to marginalize people who had almost no chance to learn of Jesus’ good news. Those parents had good reason to pray lots-the setting begged for prayer. And to think the risk led to need, then led to today’s unforeseen blessing. Let’s thank God we have good reason to pray. God’s two bounding sheepdogs of Psalm 23:6 will be there:
“…goodness and mercy will follow me all of my days.”