Psalm 37:18 “The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.”
Sometimes things happen in threes. I have grown accustomed to waiting for that third shoe to drop in a sequence of unfortunate happenings. Recently, I experienced unresolved and annoying eustachian tube pressure from some plane travel that resulted in a doctor visit. Then, as I love to do, I moved some furniture in the house (nothing major – we are talking dragging a small table and hanging a scripture in a hard-to-get-at corner) and somehow twisted my lower back into a spasm. So, it wasn’t long before I accidentally dropped the beautiful custom made terracotta planter that my oldest granddaughters made for their Pop Pop for Father’s Day. Not completely shattered, but broken into multiple pieces!
There it was. Three unfortunate happenings. While there are medications for ear pressure and back spasms, there is nothing that can replace the thoughtful artwork of two very sweet granddaughters using their own pink handprints to bless their Pop Pop with his favorite flamingos. So, after asking for forgiveness and feeling pretty low, I set about gluing the pot back together. The photo does not show the extent of breakage and the number of glued cracks, but it does show a feeble attempt to put things back together.
I thought back to a major time in my life when I put “my common sense on the throne and then tried to attach God’s name to it.” (My Utmost for His Highest, June 27). This was a time when I leaned ridiculously on my own understanding instead of trusting God. There were plenty of signs that God didn’t want His name attached to my so-called common sense decision. There were plenty of indicators that reminded me that I stepped ahead of God and just expected Him to make everything fit together nicely, despite a risky rationalization.
Well, nothing in that particular endeavor ever fit together nicely. And there were consequences. The pot shattered. Pretty far-reaching…
However, God is faithful to make His children fruitful in the suffering that comes from mistaken common sense. “The second son he <Joseph> named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’ ” I realize that the Lord is the only One who can make things right and put shambles of our own making back together. In the land of our suffering, focusing on Jesus is our only hope for bringing His enduring good out of our bad decisions and their ensuing consequences. He is faithful to teach us to lean on Him.
In Matthew 14:29-30, Peter trusted Jesus by getting out of the boat against all the distracting odds. He didn’t even contemplate the odds. He focused on Christ alone. But, when he allowed his own common sense to enter the picture, he got sidetracked by his own human sight. He contemplated the waves and gauged the wind, leaning on his own understanding.
If I spend my days under the Lord’s care, I won’t sink because I will keep my trust only in Him. Deep waters will not have any power to overcome me and common sense won’t wreak havoc in my circumstances. When trouble comes, in threes or in thousands, God will cause me to be fruitful on His own terms and in His own timing. I have experienced His “beauty from ashes” goodness many times.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”