“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:5 (NLT)
What are your memories of kindergarten?
Today, kids are expected to start reading, writing and 'rithmatic in their first year of school, but when I was a kid, there was a philosophy centered on play. Educators believed simple activities built an important foundation for children. I have clear mental pictures of swinging at recess, drinks and cookies at snack time, and carrying baby dolls around the housekeeping center.
Teachers filled our 5-year-old minds with basics to develop fine motor skills, like coloring inside the lines or cutting paper hearts. Wee people circulated through centers, "cooking" plastic foods and putting together puzzles. It looked like pure fun, but all the activities were designed to ready our minds for learning in the upper grades.
Kindergarten is a wonderful place ... unless you get sent back there from college.
In the last five years or so, I've been hearing God whisper, "Go back, Amy. Relearn the things you think you know." God gently but firmly has sent me back to spiritual kindergarten.
I've returned to simple truths like …
God loves me.
Life is best when I trust Him.
Belief is the bedrock for everything else.
These elementary thoughts are where I've been reschooled by God, and it's been good. But honestly, it's been hard, too. It's difficult for a woman who’s loved Jesus for 40 years to admit she doesn’t really grasp Jesus' love. It's humbling for a Bible teacher to go from meat back to milk.
Yet it's the path God's had for me, and there are three things I've learned that I hope will help you embrace the basics, too:
- Simple truths aren't insignificant truths.
The simple beliefs of our faith are usually the foundational ones. That’s why knowing "Jesus Loves Me" is a core reality of our faith.
Just like with houses, sometimes our foundations need shoring up after the wear and tear caused by years of life. Every now and then, sinking foundations need to be straightened from the weight of what gets piled on top. Our spiritual selves are the same. We return to basic truths to strengthen our underpinnings against the weight of disappointments and failures. Restoring our first love leaves us "plumb" and refreshed.
- It takes humility to go back when we want to forge forward.
I could have ignored God's provision, His beckoning back to His simple truths. I could have proudly proclaimed that I was too smart and mature to be “demoted,” but then where would I be today? I believe I would have missed out on God’s plan for me, creating a spiritual anemia. Instead, I’m experiencing a soul that’s more well-fed than when I started on this journey.
- When we return to the basics of faith, we aren't dumbing down; we're “leveling up.”
My friend Cheri Gregory painted a word picture that’s stuck with me and comforted me. In the video game world, upward levels may appear the same while becoming more difficult. Conquering increasingly challenging levels, no matter how similar they may look, is called "leveling up."
The journey through simple truths is the same. For example, each time I revisit the basic thought, "God loves me," I learn more about His love. And I believe it more deeply. What looks like regression to others — and may even feel like it to me — is actually progress.
Going back to “God’s kindergarten” has been challenging for me in some ways, but I’ve learned to say, “Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 25:5). God is our faithful teacher, whether He’s teaching deep mysteries or the basics that sustain us. Relearning His simple truths has brought deeper love, greater trust and bolder belief into my life.
Lord, when You call me back to simple truths, I won’t resist. I know You’re taking me on a journey to know You better and love You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Isaiah 55:8, “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’” (NLT)
In Amy Carroll’s book, Breaking Up with Perfect, she shares the beautiful lessons of giving up her ways to embrace God’s ways instead. Pick up a copy today!
When hurtful circumstances happen we wonder, How will I ever get over this? At Proverbs 31 Ministries, our goal is to meet you in the middle of your hurt and give you biblical answers on how to move through it. Join us on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast and on our Proverbs 31 Ministries YouTube channel, as we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to introduce a 6-week series called Therapy & Theology: How Do I Get Through This? Subscribe today to the podcast and YouTube channel to gain access to each new weekly episode as soon as it releases!
Visit Amy’s blog today, where you’ll find a giveaway for a beautiful necklace and more thoughts about “leveling up” in your spiritual life.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Would you surrender or resist if God called you back to kindergarten?
Which of God’s basic lessons are dearest to your heart? What might you gain if you revisited and relearned the basic belief that you list as your dearest?
Join the conversation! Let us know what you think about today’s devotion in our comments section.
© 2019 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.