Posted by Nathan Warner on

“But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:32).

As humans, we are concerned for our welfare and the welfare of what we love. We spend a lot of time pondering decisions in life. We do this because we like to think we "make our way" in the world, and its up to us to accomplish our lives, yet our very lives exist through no effort of our own.

We often forget that not that long ago, we couldn’t even make our way across the crib, let alone through the world. You and I came into this world as vulnerable infants, incapable of making anything but work for our parents. It is hard for us to think of ourselves this way today, since we have accomplished a “life” for ourselves. It insults many people’s pride and self-worth to acknowledge they were once so helpless, so ignorant. Yet, we had no choice at birth of our circumstances, health, wealth, or relationships, and could not exercise caution or calculation. Great leaders and generals try to forget that they once couldn’t crawl from danger or squirm to safety, just as great thinkers never reflect that they once couldn’t even understand the difference between the two. These great men did not overcome their helplessness—they did not decide to “grow up,” but were carried along unconsciously in God’s natural process of physical maturity.

Regardless of who we are now, we were once completely at the mercy of people we did not know and circumstances we did not under-stand. Why do we think differently as adults? People somehow think that since they can “think for themselves” and “look out” for their own interests, they no longer need to rely on God. Yet, in the great backdrop of life, mankind is as helpless in adulthood as in infancy because of sin. We need reminding of our helplessness, just as God reminded Israel that He carried them “just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place” (Deuteronomy 1:31b). We must realize we are not in control of our lives, just as King David remembered that he was made to trust as an infant: “You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb” (Psalm 22:9-10). God made us to trust. Do we trust God?

As he grew up, David could have claimed the responsibility to protect himself and look out for his interests. He could have easily taken credit for his rise from shepherd to king, but he rightly saw that the same grace of God that he was cast upon as a child was what still kept him safe as king. He knew that just as a baby has no idea what is safe and what is dangerous, God was looking after things he couldn’t understand. David remembered that as an infant he could not protect his body from harm nor defend his reputation, and he realized that his life as an adult was no different: “O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me” (Psalm 131:1-2).

People like to think that they are in control of their lives, forever leaving behind them the helplessness and trust of infancy. But in reality, we are all still infants before God, dependent on Him for everything, most importantly the salvation of Jesus Christ. We need to acknowledge our helplessness before Him for, “whoever then humbles himself [before God] as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). Amen.


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