Don't Be Wise in Your Own Eyes
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” ― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
I relate to these words from Thomas Merton so much. I have often been exactly where he has. I've been uncertain that I am going in the right direction or if I am really following God's will. Like Merton, I've learned to trust that God is pleased with our desire to do what is right even though we may get it wrong sometimes. The motivations for our choices do matter and it is our heart that God cares most about. It is important that we learn to trust God when we have uncertainty or doubts about the direction before us. Regardless of our choice, if our desire is to please God in the decision He will be pleased.
In those moments of indecision or uncertainty, I have taken great comfort in Proverbs 3:5-8. Those verses have been a great reminder for me over the years to trust in God’s wisdom over my own and to trust him with every area of my life. I can be quick to trust in my own wisdom, but I have found my wisdom is limited and often fails me. It hasn’t always been easy to trust Him, but He has proven faithful time and time again.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. – Proverbs 3:5-8
Here are some reflection questions for your consideration.
Is there a particular area in my life that I am struggling to trust God? If so, why?
Consider a time when I saw God’s faithfulness at work. How did that help build my faith?
Do I find it easy or difficult to trust God in difficult circumstances? Why or Why not?
Am I shunning evil?
Prayer: Gracious God, Help me to trust you especially when it is difficult. Straighten my path and grant me wisdom that comes from you. May I fear you and shun evil. Bring health to my body and nourishment to my bones. Amen