The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Prov. 1:7)

EXCITED ABOUT A NEW LIFE SEASON, Maggie retired, and then her husband’s unexpected death rocked her stability and hope. To rise from grief’s quicksand, she forced herself to broaden outside involvements. At sixty-six, Maggie told her friend, a bank teller, “If you ever need help stuffing statements, call me.” Soon the bank president phoned. “Come fill out an application.” Doubt chewed at her. He called again. “Where’s your application?” She mentioned her lack of confidence. “You can do this,” he said. Maggie applied, and promptly rode a steep learning curve; as a floater, she needed to master many bank positions! But the president knew her giftedness better than she did. Within a few years, Maggie was nominated for a statewide award given to older workers—and won! Someone knew her better than she knew herself, and said, “You can do this.”

“Fear” in Proverbs 1:7 means reverence, believing in another’s authority. In spite of our doubts, though we know our inabilities, God knows us better than we know ourselves. When we trust Him, we begin growing into who God created us to be. You might not end up with a visit to the White House like Maggie did, but you’ll be glad you trusted the One who knows you. “You can do this,” God says.

Our fear says, “No I can’t.” But fear—reverence—of God says, “With God’s help, I’ll learn.”

Choose the ways you will say, “With God’s help, I’ll learn,” and how you will move forward.

Jane Rubietta is the author of the deeper devotions Finding Life, Finding the Messiah, and Finding Your Promise (Wesleyan Publishing House). She also loves life, words, the outdoors, and garden-fresh tomatoes.