If there’s one thing women are really good at it’s the simultaneous delivery of sympathy and advice.
Long an advice giver myself, I’m fond of wrapping compassion, kindness and my own savvy into a tidy gift box for a friend in need, as an expression of love. The problem is, I barely understand my own life, much less yours, so who am I to tell you what to do?
In fact, I recall once wanting something so badly, I fixated on it until I was miserable. Since my friends love me and don’t want me miserable, they helped me plot its acquisition. When I finally got it, it blew up in my face. All of us acted surprised about that, but I don’t think we were. We knew it was a bad idea, we just hoped I’d get away with it.
If ever there was a case for faith, specifically Biblical faith, that’s it. We aren’t as trustworthy or prescient as we like to think, plus we muddy our own waters with selfishness and delusion.
But God never does.
As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him. Psalm 18:30 (AMP)
I can feel some of you fighting that because, like me for many years, you don’t believe it’s true. That’s the bad news of faith. It is, by definition, experiential and irrational. If you could prove it before committing, it wouldn’t be faith, it would be theory.
Others of you are scanning centuries of Christian behavior, the rampant abuse and misapplication of scripture, and saying “ummmm no thank you.”
I get it. But what do you do instead? Who do you trust? I tried trusting myself but I proved unreliable. What then?
If secular wisdom is a viable alternative to Biblical wisdom, why does it appear we are devolving as a species? Why, by our clever devices, are we destroying our planet, poisoning our food, water, air and allowing poverty to plague 2/3 of the world’s population?
I’m reading a book now called The Old Testament Template. In it, author Landa Cope maintains that Moses didn’t lead the Nation of Israel out of Egypt, into the desert. He led a ragtag mess of hungry, thirsty, whining former slaves numbering in the millions, with rocks in their hands, into the desert. There, through Moses, God taught them how to be a nation. Three hundred years later, Israel was the wealthiest nation the world had ever seen. The Bible says incredible things about a free press, debt, the judiciary, art, science, education and the alleviation of systemic poverty, we just have to look.
All that to say, the God of the Bible promises big things to people who will suffer the leaps necessary to follow his advice and obey Him. There are tools available to us, and they work. They just aren’t free.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7