So much has been on my mind lately and I ponder all those unanswered questions in my own life as well as in the lives of others. Teaching always sets my mind on what I can bring to the classroom that will help us think better, in healthier ways. Considering wisdom and knowledge I know that it all comes from the Lord. Apart from Him we falter and make the wrong judgements and explanations so we always have to go back to His Words and His ways to find anything meaningful and true.
Every time I teach a class I learn bits and pieces about the lives of others. I like to say that every life is a gift and is precious…because it’s true. Every life also has challenges, struggles, trials and heartache and we all just do the best we can with it I guess and look for a better way, often one that is less painful, less difficult to grasp.
This morning as I find myself looking at all the pain around us, I recognize a little more what faith is, what wisdom and knowledge is, what understanding looks like when it is lived out. It isn’t like we tend to conceptualize it to be. It isn’t a walk of complete certainty about every detail of life. It isn’t a life free of pain and suffering. It isn’t even a life without struggle. It is a life managed with care, engaged with hope, and embraced with courage.
I love it that the Bible says wisdom is “knowledge of the Holy One” and certainly that is true. So when we have knowledge of Him we have tasted wisdom, we have found the right path, but then, we must walk in it (Jeremiah). We can know that we have some of what we are told to seek and to find once we know we are saved. No wonder proverbs advises us to seek wisdom, knowledge, and understanding above all else. When we find it; TRUTH, we “find Jesus, the way, the truth and the life.” Then we have what we need. We have all of what we need. Sometimes though, we lose sight of that. We fail to understand that He is there, sovereign over all, carrying us through the trials in life that we feel surely will drown us in despair, with the weight too heavy to bear. We don’t understand His great plans because they are so far above our ways and our thoughts. We can’t see what all He is working out in lives all around us when it is our burden that becomes all we can see.
I shamefully, yet tenderly recall my younger days when without even knowing it I took my eyes off Jesus. I failed to trust that He would give me the desires of my heart, the good desires in time if only I would wait upon Him. I think some of the greatest failures result from failing to wait upon the Lord. Patience is a virtue. It comes over time, teaching lessons that prevent all manner of havoc once it is learned, but how do we learn?
Oh me…I’ve learned patience the hardest ways of all and I so often regret those who were hurt by my lack of patience, my lack of knowledge and understanding. I so often think “if not for God’s rich grace I would be ruined!” Yet, somehow I know that He used my failures, because of His unfailing love and tender mercy, to further reveal Himself to me. Oh I thank HIm for that this morning. I’m feeling so very blessed, recognizing after being still for a little while just how far He has brought me regardless of my unworthiness.
I can truly say though that because of the whole of my life story I daily live in willingness to be used of Him to be a blessing. He reminds me of people He placed in my life along the way that exemplified that kind of love and their actions of 20 years ago continue to bless me still today. If I could give any advise whatsoever to anyone who is young, just beginning to grapple with the grown up world I would say “keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t doubt His good plans for you. What He gives is far better than anything you could think to ask for and wait…wait…wait upon Him.” In fact, that is the advise I would give to anyone old enough to understand. I would also add “don’t give up, don’t ever give up! Look at the good, focus on it; it is there. Look at the good in yourself, the good in others, the blessings in your life. They too, are there!”
We so often fail to recognize the very tangible gifts of the day. Having someone who cares, a home, friends, jobs, food, clothing, laughter, tears….I cannot begin to name all the blessings. We have been and continue to be so blessed beyond measure regardless of the sorrows inherent in the journey of life. And remember…no one is truly alone. Emmanuel…God is with us. We also have each other in this life together, each having his own sorrow and joy, each his own gifts, talents and trials; all in all the gift of life is a most precious gift to be cherished and embraced by all!