That word “understand” is a curiosity. It just rolls off the tip of my tongue, meaning assumed or taken for granted. Today it caught my attention. What does it really mean when I lament, “I don’t understand”? The visual that pops into mind is to be standing under something… whatever that might be.
To Webster I went, curious to read the broader meanings there, to dissect the compound word into its two parts: under and stand.
The definitions that jumped out were: Under: to be in a lower place (or position) than; Stand: to occupy a place or location, to put up with something (painful or difficult).
This helps in some odd way when I find myself grappling with confusion, hurt, challenge, sudden confrontation; when my solid platform is suddenly shaken; when clarity becomes clouded. Whether a slight emotional tremor or tsunami waves, the various adjustments are similar.
It also gives pause to consider what or whom I am standing under, looking to for answers. How honest and true is the one I am trusting or following? What is that one’s track record? What is my level of peace: does the one whom I am following actually bring me peace and contentment, or turmoil? courage or fear? What is the payoff for my allegiance? Am I giving all to be enslaved, or set free? Do I receive protection from the one I stand under? Wisdom? Understanding?
These are questions that come to mind when I wonder where to turn in my dilemmas. Proverbs is a wonderful place to incline one’s ear:
Proverbs 3:5-6 ((NKJV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 2:1-9 My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path.
God is trustworthy. Joshua 21:45 states: Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
So it has been for me. Though I falter at times, God has been an ongoing shield, strong shelter, and giver of understanding. May He be even more so for you!