Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. ~Psalm 86:11
It’s been many years since I sat at a teenage Bible study camp and had this verse as a memory verse. I remember vividly the preacher who I view in many ways as a mentor encouraging all of us to pray this scripture. We spent a couple of sessions going over what each part of this small verse meant and how important it was to seek God’s path and truth in this journey to grow more like Him.
Many years have passed since then. I did memorize several verses as a child and some as a teenager, but I really wish I had spent more time doing so. Why? Because each time I have faced a hard situation, a scripture usually that I memorized and maybe hadn’t even thought about in a while seems to frequently come to mind.
Today, this Scripture came back to me. I have been going through a strange physical ailment. It’s nothing that I can say is especially painful, just debilitating. I don’t know at this moment what is wrong or why it is happening. A little over a week ago, a friend sent me a text to check on me and strongly encouraged me to try to be tuned to the Lord as He often uses these trials to teach us or to bring our attention to something. That thought has stuck with me in the days that have followed when things have been somewhat rough or tiring and still not knowing why.
In my current profession I’m a teacher. It’s part of my job as a graduate student. I love helping my students better grasp the beautiful language of French. As a teacher, I’ve learned a lot about trying to design lessons to meet the needs and talents of my specific students. Everyone has a different way of learning and although I can only go so far with reaching my students to teach them a lesson in French, I do try to put together lesson plans to best help them learn. God is the perfect teacher with the perfect lesson plan for each and every one of His children. He knows the goal and objective of every lesson He teaches. He knows how best to teach the lesson to match each child and teach them precisely the lesson they need to learn at the right moment. Sometimes the tools He uses are trials. Sometimes it is disappointments and closed doors. Sometimes He has to repeat the lesson when a child isn’t listening and learning properly. Yet, He knows exactly how to teach that lesson.
Teach me Thy way, O Lord;
We pray this, but we often don’t fully grasp how different His way is from what we expect. We are asking Him as our perfect teacher to teach us because we know that His way is the right way. How do I learn His way? I can only learn when I humble myself and am willing to learn the lessons He will teach me in life.
I will walk in thy truth
As we become willing students, we then in turn make the promise to walk in HIS truth. This means that as we face these trials and these lessons and feel overwhelmed that we run to Him and to His Word. This means that we use His truth as our guiding light and comfort as we walk through life. We are careful to seek Him to come to a better understanding of His truth and realize that there is never a point in life when we don’t need Him to help us walk in His truth. If we are not careful to walk in His truth and allow that which is not truth to gain a foothold, we cannot properly walk in His way. Thus, we must continually be in His Word and seeking Him.
unite my heart to fear thy name.
We are now asking Him as He teaches us His path and promise to walk in His truth as we learn His way to now unite our hearts to fear His name. We are beseeching Him to help us better reverence and obey Him. The only way we can possibly do this is to truly desire to become more like Him–to unite our hearts and truly learn how to properly serve Him.
He knows. He cares. He will teach. He will answer. He will lead.
I have to trust in this truth even when I don’t understand. My trial is small compared to what others face, but through this I have already seen areas where I have been weak and need repentance. I pray that as I continue through this and hopefully find answers, if it is His will that I find answers, that I will draw closer to Him. I hope that I will better learn how to walk in His truth and in His way. God is my Perfect Professor, He knows how best to teach me. In that I can trust and find comfort. I pray that He will continue to teach me and that I will always be willing to learn as there have been times when I was not willing. I pray that He will use whatever method is necessary to teach me even if it means pain and heartache. It’s worth it, I know it has to be if it means I will better follow Him.Poor, weak and worthless though I am
I have a rich almighty Friend; Jesus, the Savior, is His name, He freely loves me without end. ~ John Newton