Rest for your soul

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I could just understand what God is doing, I could trust Him more?” It’s easy to feel that way, especially in this year of so much confusion and turmoil. At first glance, it would seem to make a great deal of sense. But I want to show you something that God has been teaching me this year. If you look at the word “understand” in scripture, you’ll find that the first time it is used is in Genesis 3:6, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one “wise”, she took of its fruit and ate.” You’ll notice that the word used is wise, but in the original Hebrew that word also means “understand, to have insight, to be prudent, to prosper”. It is translated as wise only a few times and therefore it is easy to miss what is really being conveyed here. What the serpent was telling her is that if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would understand God, and therefore be more like Him, and in effect be able to trust Him more. After all, if you know what is going on, if you understand the situation better, you can trust God and you in effect, become “like God”! It is the original lie. I think this year, of all the years I have lived on this earth has made the least amount of sense. I have been through tough years in my life, but the world still made sense. This year, if we are honest, makes no sense. So what do we do? How do we then live? I believe we need to go back to the scriptures and see what they say to us. If we look at the life of King David, I think we can learn from this man who slayed giants and was called a man after God’s own heart. In the Psalms David used the word “trust” 55 times. No matter what was happening in his life or in his world, David chose over and over again to trust God. Surely, he did not understand why he was anointed King by Samuel and then spent 13 years running for his life. Yet in the midst of the turmoil, confusion and sometimes fear, he chose to trust. How could he have done this? We are told in Psalm 119:97-100, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” David loved God’s word (the law). David discovered that God’s commandments made him wiser than his enemies. He had more understanding than all his teachers because he meditated on God’s testimonies. And, David kept all of God’s instructions. His trust was in God alone! When the events of today made no sense to David, he focused on scripture and on what God had done in the past, on how He had been faithful to both him and Israel.  Trust came before understanding. It has to. If I trust that He is good, that He is faithful, that He is in control, and that He loves me, then even when things happen that don’t make sense, I do not lean on my own understanding, as Satan would like me to, but instead I trust in Him. We are told not to lean on our own understanding and for good reason. Isaiah tells us in chapter 55:8-9 why: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” He knows things we don’t. He sees the hearts of men, we usually don’t. He sees my heart, and knows what I need. Not what I want, but what I need. And since I believe that He is for me and not against me, I can trust Him even when I don’t understand. And the wonderful thing about arriving at a place of complete trust, is that it is rest for my soul. 

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