If everything would just go the way I planned, I would be happy!- Or so we think...
Proverbs 3:5-8 says, "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. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." Wait a minute, what?- this verse tell us NOT to rely on our own understanding- and it says that THAT will make me happy. Our understanding is not strong enough to lean on or put the whole weight of our life upon like we think. It will bend and break. When we lean on our own understanding, we lean to what suits us and our particular circumstances. We lean towards selfishness. We lean toward the easy way out.
Obedience to God's ways, even when we feel they don't suit us and it is contrary to everything we want to do, will always lead us to the ultimate blessing. Proverbs 28:26 says, "He that trusts in his own heart is a fool." and Isaiah 5:21 says, "Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"
It's easy for us to rely on earthly benefits because they come easy and our temporal. We can feel them or see them. It would be like if I asked my 3 year boy (the one not happy in the picture above) if he would rather have an ice cream cone now, or $100,000 dollars at the time of his graduation. As adults, we know what he should choose, but we also know what he would choose.
Even our best intentions are contrary to God's ways. We belong to a king and a higher calling. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
So, the question is, whose way are we going to choose? Deuteronomy 10:12 says, "What does the Lord thy God require of me... but to walk in all his ways." His ways are the only ways that bring peace. They are the only ways that lead to success. They are the only ways that will accomplish God's purpose.
This makes me think of a phrase from one of my favorite hymns:
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
So, back to the picture posted above, Robert was choosing to obey Mommy for the picture while Jude decided that his way of being in that picture was best and if it didn't go his way he wouldn't be happy. What will we decide to do- lean on our own understanding (cry in the picture, take the ice cream now) or trust and obey our King?