Ever heard the ironic statement, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it?”
Of course, the irony doesn’t lie in the possibility that we might get those things for which we are wishing; it lies in the fact that humans have so little capacity to know what’s good for them. We are just too limited in our self-knowledge to know what we should desire and what will actually be needful. While there are numerous factors contributing to this lack, there are several that deserve extra consideration:
A DARK HEART
One major contributor to our appalling lack of self-knowledge can be found in the Book of Jeremiah, which offers us an interesting insight into why we are so blind to what might truly be in our best interest. (Jeremiah 17:9 (The heart is deceitful above all things. . .”.) It is certain that the primary person the human heart “deceives” above all others is its own self. We listen to our heart, but it does not speak truth to us. The human heart is impure because pride, fear, and avarice are its advisors. Only the Lord God knows and speaks truth.
EXISTENCE IN TIME
Our human judgment is also impeded by the nature of our existence in time. We dwell within the dimension of time because it is the milieu in which we were created. Both past and future are ephemeral representations that only have being in the memories and imaginings of our brain. They have no existence in the present moment, wherein we must always exist; therefore, we have no ability alter what has happened in the past and, despite our many machinations, we have only a minuscule ability to impact what will happen in times to come.
Because we cannot know the future and can only rely upon the unsure application of knowledge garnered from past, we are not qualified to know what will be necessary or best for us when future finally becomes present. With such limitations, one has to marvel as humanity stubbornly persists in the urgent push to satisfy its wants, and as it insistently pursues ill-advised dreams whose fulfillment could well turn out to be terribly distressing. It is indeed ironic that people continue to make “wishes” at all, and it is no wonder that the wisdom of the Word is continually urging us not to spend our energies projecting outcomes.
God specifically tells His people not to attempt to foresee the future, on pain of death, and the only reason He offers is, “I am to the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 19:31 - Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
I believe the Lord has purposely kept His explanation simple, even a little cryptic, because He wants us to consider it closely. He seems to be leading us toward a little exercise in compare-and-contrast between the reality of His power and our own limitations that might go something like this:
God is all-powerful. Am I?
God is omnipresent. Am I?
God is infinite. Am I?
God is completely trustworthy. Am I?
God is Sovereign over all times, places, and beings. Am I?
God is unlimited in His lovingkindness. Am I?
Even the quickest run through such a comparison clearly proves that God is all the sufficiency we need for our future. A person would have to be a great fool trust in themselves rather than in God; particularly since the Lord has demonstrated His immense goodwill toward us by sending His Son for our rescue. Jesus testifies to this truth:
John 14:1: Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.
John 14:27: I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Let’s worship the Lord by beginning this newest year by laying aside all stress and worry, and purposing to live every day with a calm spirit and a contented trust in our Lord. Contentment and trust, offerings born of the faith He has given to us, are the true worship He seeks.