“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” Prov. 19: 20-21
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“This is easy. I don’t understand why you are having such a problem.” My dad peers over my shoulder with little interest in what is causing me so much grief. I am immersed in long division equations. He was supposed to be tutoring me while my mother stayed at work later than usual.
Monday was quickly approaching and my homework still lay there, unfinished. My father gave his weak attempt to “help”; then chuckled at my frustration while disappearing into the basement until my mother returned. When she came home, she found me in a puddle of tears. Poor mom had more work at home than what she had just returned from.
During my years of school, math remained a major stumbling block for me. I did everything within my power to figure out this obscure anomaly. To even further my frustration, my friends seemed to grasp it without a problem. I ignored invitations to pass notes or goof off. I actually chose to study harder—even during study hall! (Now, that was insanity.)
I even attended tutoring sessions before school and after school. All this hard work seemed like it never paid off. I remained a “C” math student and it took blood, sweat and tears to get there.
“Whatever you do for a living, make sure it has nothing to do with math. You have the worst case of “mathitis” I have ever seen.” This comment came from the mouth of the only ‘math god’ I knew, my algebra teacher, Mr. Chavez.
We had spent countless hours over the years working on math problems together before and after school. Despite his winning personality, it would have much more preferable to me if I would have spent my youth with people who were actually my age, doing anything other than long division. But, I had goals.
The moment Mr. Chavez said that, it became clear that I had foolishly been investing in something that was ever going to get me anywhere. Who was I to refute sacred wisdom from the “expert”? His words made a life long impact on me.
I continued with my struggle and soldiered on. Eventually, I graduated from high school with honors; but this came with much social sacrifice.
For some reason, I wasn’t able to stop myself from dreaming. Despite those pesky insecurities that would whisper in my ear whenever I sat down to take a test. My hope held out for the exact opposite of the ongoing tune of the broken record that kept spinning in my head: “You’ll never be a success.”
My dream was to graduate with honors from college. I didn’t have a clue as to what field I wanted to pursue; I was just determined to prove that I could defy the odds of being born a “slow” learner.
Then, the drama of life introduced another impending character that had a major impact on my life. My first real boyfriend, Eddie.
“You should just quit school. You make so much money at your job, and you are much better at doing that anyway.” This tidbit of “wisdom” came from Eddie who had just quit school himself. On top of nurturing his low ego, he also was relying on me to pay for our rent and support his lifestyle.
With the seeds of insecurity planted from my childhood, along with the ‘encouragement’ of a boy who only had his best interest in mind, the message was loud and clear: I must give up the dream of accomplishing anything that required intelligence. This discouraging revelation compelled me to just hop off the hamster wheel of constant frustration and defeat. I started to consider listening to what everyone else seemed to keep telling me to do–drop the unrealistic goal of pursuing anything meaningful and just quit trying. And, so I one day, I did.
Many people throughout the years gave me unwise counsel and advice. When I followed their instructions, it always led to a dead-end street. Something deep within me always told me to hold out for something more…something better. My hope was real, but I had no one to help it grow.
Then one day, I decided to ask God for His instruction; and I actually waited long enough to hear His response. He told my heart some very different things than I was used to hearing. He said that my mind was beautiful in it’s own creative way. When I let the truth of that sink inside me, my confidence grew. God also spoke to my heart and told me that no lack of education would ever stop His purpose for my existence. That sounded better than anything anyone else had ever told me before. I began to crave the counsel and encouragement of God and started to read His word to learn more about what God really thought.
Doing this fed my hope and inspired me. The least I could do was to give God a try and really see if he could make some meaning and purpose come from my existence.
Today I am so grateful that I eventually had enough wisdom to listen to wise counsel. God has blessed me with a husband that actually enjoys balancing the checkbook. He has also shown me a purpose for my pain, and has given me the honor of sharing it with others. There is no greater fulfillment than finding out what you were born to do and having the courage to finally reach out and take what God had waiting for you the whole time. It may not be what you want—It might actually be even better!
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have based my life on untruths about myself for many years. Many choices and life habits have been formed because of these misconceptions.
I come to you with all that I have. I give it all to you today. Show me what you want me to see and give me the passion to pursue your life vision for me.
Help me to drop being a people pleaser and give me the wisdom to be a God pleaser.
I promise to take it one step at a time, moment by moment and day by day and I thank you that a year from now I will look back on my life and see the progress of my obedience to you. You will get the glory for changing my life story, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Proverbs 19: 20-21
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan