A farrier once made me a very cool puzzle. He looped and welded three horseshoes together in such a way that they couldn’t be separated unless they were twisted just right. It was easy once he showed me how to solve it; otherwise, there was just no way. I felt like a fool before he showed me--but afterward, I was a genius!

In Psalm 119:98-100, David claimed to be wiser than his enemies, more insightful than his teachers, with more understanding than the elders. David was smart (well, except for that Bathsheba thing)--so how did a simple shepherd boy learn so much?

First, David listened to Samuel, who listened to God. In 1 Samuel 16:3-4, God tells Samuel, “I will show you what to do.” Then, “Samuel did what the Lord said.” Second, David studied and obeyed God’s Word; that’s the point of Psalm 119. Verse 130 says, “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives under-standing to the simple.” Finally, David was filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 16:13). Psalm 143:8-10 summarizes David’s dependence upon God’s wisdom: “I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go... teach me to do Your will... may Your good Spirit lead me.”

David’s son, Solomon, was also wise. In Proverbs 2:6 and 3:5-6, he says that real wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come from God, and that He will show us how to live if we trust Him.

David and Solomon both discovered that real life know-how is not about having a smart brain; it’s about having a trusting heart. David said, “I trust You, show me, teach me, lead me”--and God did. To know God and His will for us, and for God to show us how to live, we must turn to Him with an open heart, an open mind, and then believe what He says.

In Luke 24, two guys were walking to Emmaus trying to figure things out, and Jesus showed up. At first, they were “slow of heart to believe” (v. 25). Then they finally listened to and trusted what Jesus told them from Scripture. “Their eyes were opened” (v. 31) and they understood.

Heart, eyes, mind. In Ephesians 4:17-18, Paul says futile thinking, darkened understanding, and ignorance are the result of hardened hearts. In Ephesians 1:17-18, he prays that the Spirit of wisdom will open the eyes of our hearts to know God and the glorious hope He offers us.

This will surely sound simplistic, but the truest truths usually are simple (wash your hands, pay attention, think before you speak). So here it is: we may not be very smart, but God is, so if we truly listen to Him, trust Him, and do what He says, God Himself will lead us into infinite, eternal joy.

The world around us (and we who inhabit it) are often baffling, like confounding puzzles; we can feel like fools until we trust our Maker to show us how to live. Then, finally, we’ll say, “Oh, now I get it!”