Summary: A look at using the wisdom from Proverbs to help us in our daily lives.
June 30, 2019
There was a man who was a really good rock climber. He took the challenge on a really difficult rock formation. As he was climbing, he slipped and as he fell, he grabbed hold of a branch jutting out from the side of the rocks.
He wasn’t sure how he would make it to the top of the cliff, so he began to scream for help. After screaming for awhile, he stopped to reassess his situation. There were no other places for him to put his hands, so he yelled again, “Is there anyone who can help me?”
Finally, he heard a voice. “I’m here, I can help you.”
The man was so relieved. He thanked God that help was there. He yelled again, “Who are you?”
The voice replied, “I’m God!”
Now, the man was a little confused, but he didn’t really care, help was there.
So, he said, “Thank you, God, will you help me?”
God said, “Yes, you just need to do one thing.”
Man - “What’s that God, I’ll do anything!”
God - “Just let go and I’ll catch you!”
Man - thought about it, asked God to repeat Himself . . . Finally the man said “Is there anybody else up there who can help me?”
Isn’t that so true about us? We’ve heard of the expression
Let go and let God!
Let go of my fears. Let go of my resentments. Let go of my need to be in control of people and traffic and the weather. Let go of my image. Let go of what I did yesterday. Let go of what might happen tomorrow. Let go of my demand to have my own way. Let go of my life; and let God do for me what I cannot do for myself. Letting go does not come naturally to us.
We’re really just getting started in a new series that we started last week. We’re talking about Being Wise. Using the wisdom we get from God to help us navigate life. Doing this will help us make better decisions, because we’re accepting His wisdom into our lives and then applying it.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 - -
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
The simple point Solomon is trying to make is that - - if we would be willing to let go of our need to have our own way, and let God direct our paths, we would be much better off.
In the book of Job, one of Job’s friends gives him some good wisdom, telling Job -
13 “If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward Him. – Job 11:13
The friend wanted Job to know that if you prepare your heart by surrendering your heart to God, you will then be more willing to stretch out your hands toward God.
That’s a really great image for us to hold onto.
There’s a great image for this and I read it in one of Henri Nouwen’s books. Nouwen was a priest who became fascinated with a group of trapeze artists called the Flying Rodleigh's.
Nouwen had the opportunity to become friends with the trapeze artists and one day while he was talking to Rodleigh, the leader of the troupe, about flying. Rodleigh explained, ‘As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher. The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him.’
Nouwen asked, ‘How does it work?’
Rodleigh explained, ‘The secret, is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I simply have to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me.’
A surprised Nouwen said, ‘You do nothing!’
Rodleigh repeated, ‘Nothing, the worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. I am not supposed to catch Joe. It’s Joe’s task to catch me. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.’
That’s a great image for us. Our job is to fly through the air and trust the catcher, God. Our part is to trust and surrender, to give up our life; God's part is to catch, to hold, to do in me and for me what I can't do for myself.
When I surrender my whole life, my whole will to God — I am ready to receive the power to do what I can't do. But too often don’t we try to solve all of the world’s problems on our own? We try to get it done on our own. We become the flyer and the catcher all in one.