I spent my first four years of college as an English major because I loved studying the language. Then I realized that with today’s marketplace….that’s another story….
But my love of language hasn’t dwindled. And that’s not limited to the English language either. I also greatly enjoy learning about other languages, the roots of words, why they translate the way they do, grammatical structure, and so on. I get as much enjoyment from reading educational material as I do from a good novel, as long as the subject matter is to my interests.
One of my favorite parts of Bible studies is when authors break down Hebrew and Greek words to give the Scriptures a richer meaning than what the surface translations have to offer. This is also why I love my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, so that when a word strikes me I can look uo the original and see if there’s anything fuller behind it.
While browsing Twitter tonight (which I rarely do) I came across the familiar verse in Proverbs 3,
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.
The word “acknowledge” stood out to me. What does it mean to acknowledge God? Is it just pointing skyward when I get a base hit or a touchdown? Saying “Thank God!” when I ace a tough test? Giving a testimony about how the police officer let me off with a warning? Or is it more?
Webster defines acknowledge as
1 : to recognize the rights, authority, or status of
2 : to disclose knowledge of or agreement with
3 a : to express gratitude or obligation for
b : to take notice of
c : to make known the receipt of
4 : to recognize as genuine or valid
I think that number 1 provides an excellent view of how we should acknowledge the Lord in our daily lives, but the original Hebrew goes even deeper. The word is “yada,” and it’s the same word used to describe Biblical honeymoons. That’s right. It’s not merely recognition or understanding, although it includes those. It involves a sense of intimacy, of deep knowledge.
When the Bible says to acknowledge Him in all our ways, it’s nit just saying to give God credit for good stuff that happens; it’s saying that we should be intimate with Him on a continuous, consistent basis, that we should walk so closely with Him that He can direct our path as a man would lead a would lead a woman in a waltz.
Use that word picture for a second. When you’re waltzing, you don’t take your eyes off of each other. You’re holding each other closely and moving in sync, as one body, and everything flows beautifully. That’s how our daily lives with Christ should be. Staring straight at Him, trusting His lead, holding on tight, and letting life flow gracefully through Him and into us while the world looks on at the beautiful rhythm created by our fluid harmony.
As I write this, Louis Armstrong’s La Vie en Rose plays in my head. A great blogger recently wrote that “Hope does not change our circumstances, but it changes our perspective of those circumstances…. Hope does not change our reality, it simply changes our view of reality.”
When you’re in love, all of life seems to take on a rose-colored appearance. May it be so with our lives as we walk our paths with the Lover of our souls.