This past week was midterm week at Yonsei.
It was also the week my body contracted a mysterious stomach virus that left me bedridden and sent me to the hospital, unable to study with the effort required to achieve the Christ-glorifying results I endeavor toward. Not exactly the best timing, right?
I faced a thick temptation to complain, pity, say that it’s “not fair.”
So I waged war against all negative, pessimistic thoughts by memorizing this verse in my native tongue. And it proved to be a great weapon in the fight against doubt, anger, and frustration. Hmm, that sounds familiar. Sword, spirit.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths
너는 마음을 다하여 여호와를 신뢰하고 네 명철을 의지하지 말라. 너는 범사에 그를 인정하라 그리하면 네 길을 지도하시리라
You may not be in finals week. I pray you don’t have a stomach virus. But I sure hope you are encouraged by these three inspirations I was granted during this trial.
Here are three reasons why we should lean upon God’s understanding rather than ours in the midst of difficulty or temptation.
1. God’s purposes spill off into eternity.
Grab a blank sheet of paper. Draw a horizontal line. If that line represents time itself, existence, life as we know it, then God is the whole of which that sheet was torn from. In other words, we are so limited. But God is not limited. In fact, He is infinite. While we are limited in every endeavor by the consequences of time and space, God does as He pleases. You know those tiny dust specks that you catch a glimpse of when you’re cleaning your room and a beam of sunlight cuts through the shades? Not a single one of those critters moves a millimeter unless God allows them to. And the dominion of this supreme Ruler also includes every particle in my body and yours.
Stomach angsts during midterm week may seem tragic in my eyes, but I trust that the infinite God can, and does, orchestrate such circumstances to bring forth greater consequences than I could ever consider or conceive.
2. We are finite and very untrustworthy.
Our desires, thoughts, and everything in between are corrupt. And one more step after that, we are very limited in our perception, because we can only see so far into the future, as we just discussed. We are but a breath in this vast universe. Are we so foolish to think we could outsmart the Creator’s plan? That’s how irrational sin is. Which is also why faith, and the myriads of gifts that flow from it (i.e. confidence, less anxiety, a weak sense of personal worthy) are a pure gift of God. While everything in our natural self moils to the very thing that will kill us (i.e. our limited understanding), faith goes against our very nature while gradually aligning it with the nature of the one who spun the stars into being (i.e. perfect understanding). If you’re discouraged, pray for greater faith. If you seek greater faith, memorize verses like Proverbs 3:5-6.
3. God is the Creator who is wonderfully intentional about displaying His love for His Creation.
The Bible is factually, archeologically, historically credible. It has withstood scrutiny for centuries. And one overwhelming theme is that the Creator of everything that exists also happens to deeply care about what He created. That’s the heart of the Gospel. And for that I would pick a stronger verb than “care.” Not only is God a sovereign 100 percent-in control God, but that omnipotence is blanketed by His endless loves for His children. A crucial aspect of our trusting God is leaning on the promise that He would never let anything happen to us that wouldn’t bring Him glory and wouldn’t ultimately be in our best interest.