Recently, our sweet two-year-old granddaughter stayed with us for a couple of days. We read books, blew bubbles, and visited a playground.
Knowing the independent nature of two-year olds, I allowed her to roam freely with few limitations. However, with safety and happiness as my goals, I offered help when she navigated steps or headed toward the street.
When I intervened, this precious little one would extend her arm, put up her little hand and say in toddler English, “I fine.” That was my signal to back off and let her assert her independence. I allowed her to explore on her own but insisted on safety measures knowing she couldn’t see potential danger.
When her parents took her home, I smiled about these episodes and realized that I’m sometimes like a two-year-old, either demanding my own way or simply ignoring advice because I think, “I fine.” God tells us to depend on Him rather than ourselves.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
–Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
There are three directives in this familiar Scripture.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
There is no situation in which I can’t trust Him. Every day. Every circumstance. Every time. He is worthy of my trust. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and He is my Heavenly Father who loves me. Depending on Him for most things but counting on myself or other people for additional concerns is not trusting Him with my whole heart.
Do not lean on your own understanding.
God knows that total dependence on our own measures can be as detrimental as a two-year old falling down the steps. He created us with thinking ability and expects us to use the brain He gave us. However, He sees the past, present and future. With limited human vision, we know only the past and present and may not thoroughly understand those. We certainly cannot ascertain the future. We need His understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him.
How can we acknowledge God? We can read the Bible, pray, and focus our attention on Him in praise and worship. When we “hit the ground running” in the morning without noticing that He is with us and that He has a plan for our lives, we ignore Almighty God, our tender Shepherd who longs to guide us. Acknowledging Him involves paying attention to Him and seeking His wisdom. Looking “up” takes our attention off our ways and helps us gain heavenly perspective.
And now a comforting promise from these verses:
He will make your paths straight.
Life is difficult enough without detours on crooked roadways, right? Notice the verse says straight, not easy. Easy is not promised, but God’s guidance is assured. Our view of life’s pathway is like a toddler peeping over the edge of a high countertop beyond his reach, but God sees our life from Creation into eternity. What a view and what a comfort to have Him make our pathways straight!
I want to acknowledge God early in the morning every day rather than going merrily along my way with extended arm and hand thrust forward saying, “I fine.” I need His guidance.