Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

By CBM National intern; Paul Daly


I am a habitual thinker. Most people don’t notice this, but I can and will spend hours alone pacing the floor, listening to music, and just thinking—about a plethora of things. The reason: I love gaining understanding.

During the summer of 2015, when I was serving as a junior counselor at Camp Grace for the third summer, God showed me that the next step for me was to apply to be an intern with Children’s Bible Ministries. I did not understand that at all. Suddenly, my mind was bombarded with an avalanche of questions. Being at the bottom of the mountain, I tried to take time to analyze and give reason to every flake of snow. I was confident that I could figure everything out and have the whole situation under wraps.

It’s been six months since then, and I’ve been an intern for four of those. I’m still buried in the snow. Questions still puzzle me, such as “Why?” “What if?” “How?” “What’s next?” “What will people think?”

However, when I was just a couple weeks into the internship, God brought me to a passage in Scripture. This wasn’t a verse I had never before read. As a matter of fact, it was one that I knew by heart. But the words meant something different, so much more, this time around. The passage was Proverbs 3:5&6.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Did that passage answer all my questions? No, it did not. But it taught me how to move on despite them.

This whole time, I had been leaning on my own understanding and trying to unravel all the mysteries by myself. This whole time, I had only been trusting in God with my weaknesses and not with my strengths. I realized that following God is just one step at a time.

Today, I’m learning how to acknowledge Him in all my ways and seek Him with all my heart (1 Chronicles 28:9). I’m learning to trust in Him, Whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Today, I’m learning to not lean on my own understanding, but to boast alone in my relationship with God (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

Some of my initial questions have been answered, thankfully. But there are many more that haven’t yet been. Although I would love to have these things all figured out in my head, God has taught me it is more of a priority to acknowledge His reign in my heart.

So what about you? Whose understanding are you leaning on?

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