Why do we fall? To get back up.
With great power comes great responsibility.
Do or do not, there is no try.
Our favorite nerdclinations are full of valuable life lessons. I’ve never carried the One Ring, but I’ve gleaned enough wisdom from Gandalf to help me sidestep a few pitfalls in my life. So many of these pithy quotes are on the tips of our tongue; we’re able to recall them instantly.
Unfortunately I’m not as adept at learning or retaining the lessons that God teaches me. God has taught me so many lessons over my 35 years, most of which I’ve had to learn again and again. When God teaches me a lesson, sometimes I don’t even realize that he’s teaching me a lesson. When I do realize he’s teaching me a lesson, there’s no guarantee that I’ll actually pay attention or do anything about it.
For a few weeks I had really been focused on God’s provision. Every time I prayed the Lord’s Prayer I would linger on the “give us today our daily bread” part. Alycia and I were in a position of needing to trust in God’s provision as we waited for her to get a job. Financially we were able to put food on the table, but we weren’t really able to move forward.
For weeks I was focusing on God’s provision and really trying to seek him out in the midst of our situation. When Alycia had her first interview I threw myself to my knees in prayer. I prayed so hard that she would get that job. When she didn’t, I trusted in God’s plan and moved on.
When she interviewed for the second job I prayed, but I spent most of my time thinking how our lives would be different when she got the job. Like daydreaming about winning the lottery, I was planning what we’d do every month with Alycia’s salary. I even went so far as to plan out our budget for November with her salary plugged into it.
Alycia didn’t get that job either and, at that point, I was a little confused. God promised that he would provide for us and I wasn’t necessarily seeing that provision how I wanted. At that point God entered the classroom to teach me a lesson.
I was leading our young adult Bible study and we were talking about God’s promises. I was sharing about God’s promise for provision and how I was trying to trust in it. As I was sharing, though, I realized that I wasn’t really trusting in God’s provision. I trusted that God could get Alycia a job, but after that I was placing my trust in Alycia’s salary for provision. In that moment God was trying to teach me a lesson and, for once, thankfully I was listening.
Two days later Alycia heard about the third job for which she had interviewed and found out that she got the job. For months I thought I was trusting in God’s provision, when really I was trusting in something else entirely. I apologized to Alycia, telling her that she may have gotten a job sooner if I were better at learning God’s lessons.
What helps you learn God’s lessons?