I came across this verse in my Bible not too long ago:
“The Lord guards the inexperienced; I was helpless, and He saved me.” (Psalm 116:6)
These lines were starred, with one of my daughters’ names written in the margin. Apparently, I had noticed the verse before.
This day, troubled as I was with all sorts of petty issues, my first inclination was to breathe a sigh of relief as I read these words. Right about then, I was so very glad that God was guarding my children as they try to learn difficult concepts and absorb new material at school.
And yet, as I considered the timeliness of finding that specific verse in the middle of my reading for that very day, another thought flitted through my still-anxious brain.
My children are not the only inexperienced ones here.
For example, I know that parents all over the world have been rearing teenagers successfully for thousands of years, but I’ve never done this thing before. My head swims with the practical, emotional and spiritual ramifications of this task of preparing children for adulthood. What if I miss something? What if I do it all wrong? What if I emphasize this when I should be focusing on that?
And how about those other areas of my life where my confidence is lacking and I’m not sure how to proceed? What if things don’t work out? What if I get rejected or (even worse) ignored? What if I can’t do it anymore? What if I make the wrong choice?
Then the comfort of scripture catches me, mid-fret.
“The Lord guards the inexperienced; I was helpless, and He saved me.”
In the grand scheme of things, my worries and struggles are insignificant—even ridiculous at times. I could pretend they don’t exist or try to plow my way through them, but this verse suggests a different approach.
God guards me whether or not I ask Him to—I truly believe that. But something happens in my mind and heart when I scoop up all my fears and concerns and start handing them over to Him, one sorry bit at a time.
Here, Lord. Your Word says I’m supposed to cast all my cares on you, because you care for me. So please take this, and this, and this. Oh yeah, and this too.
As I acknowledge my helplessness before Him—as I lay down every single “what-if” and “how-am-I-going-to-do-that” at His feet—the peace that transcends understanding starts to invade my soul.
I don’t know how this happens. I just know it does.
God may not answer all my questions or show me how everything is going to work out. In fact, He probably won’t—not right now, maybe not ever.
But He does save me—from myself.
He rescues me from my need to know the next 15 steps. From my desire to control the outcome. From my belief that I am the key figure in making this all work.
I might be inexperienced and helpless, but I am not—nor will I ever be—on my own.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)