Lean Not on Your Own Understanding
Winter has come and gone and the first signs of spring are peeking out from the shadows. My son is in our cul-de-sac, trying to conquer the bike that he has not ridden in several months. He falls. My husband picks him up. He falls again. Is picked up again.
Discouragement clouds his face and he does not see that I am standing at the door, my hands gripping the frame just to keep me from sprinting through the yard and wrapping him in my arms. Despite Tom’s promise that everything will be okay, Thomas is hesitant to swing his leg over the seat one more time. It takes several attempts, but finally he decides to trust his father.
This scene is not unlike our trip to Grandfather Mountain, where we crossed the mile-high swinging bridge only after an hour of encouraging our son to face his fear of heights. Or pulling a tooth. Or getting staples in his scalp after sliding head-first into the corner of our living room wall.
My son does not trust easily.
One day, this will make him a very discerning and wise decision-maker. But for now, as his parents, Tom and I are always trying to convince Thomas that he can trust us. If you are a parent, you know we do this simply because we know more than our children do.
We know what it feels like to have the wind flying in your face once you do conquer that bike. We know the spectacular view that awaits on the other side of the mile-high mountain bridge. We know that new, mature teeth can only grow once the baby ones fall out. We know that without the staples, his head wound will not heal. As his parents, we know what is in his best interest.
Does God not do the very same thing with us?
Isn’t He always trying to convince us to trust Him? But here’s the thing: trusting God with all of our heart will almost always require us to face our fears. Our fears are based on the knowledge of what we think we know as man. Our fears are based on our own understanding. But God knows more. He knows the whole picture. He knows the whole story. He knows the whole battle. And He calls us to lean on His understanding as we march into it, not on the knowledge of what we know as man.
The knowledge of man says that I should not be here, breathing and writing these words. The knowledge of man says my body does not work properly and that there is no cure or treatment for it, nor are there any doctors doing any research for it. The knowledge of man, specifically, my doctor, says that she doesn’t know why, but I am beating everything the world knows about Vascular Ehlers-Danlos. That is what man understands.
Here is what God says:
Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you…but I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 30:12-13, 17
Never forget that the God who speaks tenderly is also a mighty warrior, ready to defend, to save, to rescue, and to restore. When God calls us to a battle, He wants to do the fighting. And in whatever battle we are facing, He also wants there to be no confusion as to where our victory has come from.
Where the world says you can’t, God says I can. Where the world says you are not enough, God says I am. Where the world says it’s impossible, God says all things are possible with Me. Where the world says there is no hope, God says I am the God of hope.
Sometimes our battles are completely out of the world’s hands, but they are completely in the hands of the Father. When we fight a battle that defies the knowledge of man, God’s truth reigns.
Lean not on your own understanding, beloved child of God.
As we continue along our journey of Battling Anxiety with Biblical Truth, this is our challenge for today: to release what we know as man and trust what God knows as our creator, Savior, rescuer, and mighty warrior.
Join me tomorrow when we’ll look at the four things that happen when we fully live out Proverbs 3:5 in our daily lives. Spoiler alert: anxiety is demolished.
Until then, carry on warriors.