I see my daughter wading through the chilly waters of a tiny lake a few blocks from our home on a warm spring day in late April. She slowly steps in by first dipping her toes, then her foot, followed by an adventurous spirit to keep on going. She does not spend much time thinking about the potential dangers of the water or what lurks underneath, or even how cold the water is. In other words, she doesn’t depend on her “own understanding.”
You might say her actions were out of ignorance – she doesn’t know nor does she seem to care. But to be ignorant doesn’t simply mean to be careless or lacking knowledge, it’s also to be foolish.
To have faith like a child is not to ignore wisdom for the sake of foolishness, but rather to forego the unnecessary gaining of knowledge to feed “our understanding” so that faith becomes a calculated exercise in decision making. The more our understanding is filled with facts, scientific evidence, reasoning and human understanding, the hurdles for a life of faith become greater. So when the wisdom literature of Holy Scripture instructs its readers to “trust in the Lord with all your heart” in a world that prides the value of human understanding and reasoning over that of God, Scripture becomes a radically foreign concept.
How does one begin to “trust in the Lord with all your heart?” Look to the cross. The gospel is God’s good news to those who continue to depend on their own understanding. The gospel reminds us that when we look to the cross, we find the sum of all knowledge and wisdom of the cosmos is wrapped up into one big life-altering event: God’s love for you and me.
The gospel is God’s good news to those who continue to depend on their own understanding.
The cross is God’s demonstration for his eternal and unending love for mankind in the past, present and future. The cross is God’s confirmation that he holds all wisdom and knowledge over the “why’s”, “how’s” and “what-if’s” of the world. And the cross is God’s affirmation that he alone charts the course of our life, both now and for eternity.
To “trust in the Lord with all your heart” is to follow with a child-like faith and wonder – free from the limits of our “own understanding” that steal away the seeds of faith, adventure and fulfillment. Often (okay, almost always) the Lord’s will for your life goes beyond the safety of the sand on the shore and the path requires more than dipping your toes in to test the waters. A life of faith and understanding the will of God for you tomorrow begins with looking to the cross of Jesus Christ today.