As humans, change is difficult. We get used to doing the same things every day, so when the everyday routine that we strive to perfect gets disrupted, we don't like it. Here's the thing. There is beauty in change, and there is beauty in finding something different in our every day, especially when that change is necessary.
I have been reading through the book of Proverbs and it has helped me tremendously in educating myself on the ways in which God intended for us to live out our lives and how he envisioned it. Proverbs focuses on the Beginning of Knowledge and the Call of Wisdom. It then leads into the Value of Wisdom, and how to Trust in the Lord with ALL your Heart.
The Lord encourages us to let our guards down, an invite him into our hearts, so we can increase our learning and obtain guidance with understanding. This is the "Garland of Knowledge" that God wraps us up in to create beauty and pendants. "Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster." (Proverbs 1:33) DANG. If that's not some Knowledge, I'm not sure what is. God tells us right there that when we trust and find our knowing in him, we can have a clear mind and sense of comfort.
This leads perfectly into the second chapter. The VALUE of Wisdom. I don't know if you are familiar with the story of Joseph, but he went through IT. God used him to create a beautiful story of integrity, courage, wisdom, and justice. Long story short, his brothers sold him into slavery, he was found, then was put into jail based on false accusations. BUT because of a gift God gave him, he was able to free himself, work as second in line of Egypt below Pharaoh, and create happiness for himself, and the people in the city. Talk about a story. The really beautiful thing about this story is that Joseph never lost his sense of integrity, because he KNEW that he wasn't just representing himself, but also representing God simultaneously. One thing that I love is that in representing integrity, courage, wisdom, and justice, these four attributes are also the four cardinal virtues that Plato introduced to humankind wayyyy back when. When we truly live in the way God called us to with these four 'guidelines' if you will, virtue and faith are able to meet in the middle, creating a real and true relationship with ourselves, each other, and God.
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Not just half, or even 3/4 .. ALL. Of. It. I know, scary. But here's a secret .. it's so worth it. I love this chapter in Proverbs, because it truly encourages us to love others as ourselves, and it tells us to do this by pushing away the materialistic things and turn inward. "God reproves the ones he loves" because, well, he loves us. He wants the best for us, and he WANTS to see us do BETTER. The cool thing is, is that he tells us HOW to do so RIGHT in the Word. "Blessed Is The One Who Finds Wisdom." When we seek wisdom, we find our answers. Here is what God tells us:
"Do not be afraid of sudden terror- he is our confidence." (3:25)
"Do not withhold good from others- we have the power to give goodness." (3:27)
"Do not drive away our neighbors- we are called to invite each other in." (3:28)
"Do not plan evil against your neighbor- especially when they mean well." (3:29)
"Do not envy men of violence- it is not our job to judge, only to love." (3:31)
Colossian 2:2-3 says, "That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." WE are ALL called to live encouraged in heart and united in love.
I saw something the other morning that resonated so strongly and gave me the reassurance to even write about this scripture, and how it is helping me learn in these times.
"Say what you need to on social media. Then put down your phone and pick up your life. Not many will see you learning, confessing, repenting, uprooting, retooling, forgiving, inviting, empowering. But we will see its fruit. The hidden work is heart work and is the hard work."
"We will see its fruit." The fruit of the Holy Spirit. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The greatest of these is LOVE. Love yourself, Love God, and Love each other.
When we live through the fruits of the Spirit, it allows us to reflect and turn inward, to be able to shine our lights onto others, and to ultimately create this change that we are all seeking to find.