The Letter “T”
As odd as it might sound, the letter T was originally X-shaped. Its earliest ancestor was probably an X-shaped Egyptian hieroglyph, which in turn became the X-shaped Phoenician letter taw. Over time, this X steadily straightened, becoming more of a + shape, before the Ancient Greeks knocked the top off to create their T-shaped letter tau. And it’s from tau, via Latin, that T has ended up in English.BY PAUL ANTHONY JONES
T is now one of the English language’s most frequently used letters, and on average it will account for just under 10 percent of all the language you’ll use.
I’m always fascinated by words. As I was praying today, I stopped myself when I told Father God that I would “try.” Now, try is a good T word. Try shows good intentions. Try shows that I’m ready to move from thought (another good T word) to action. And, action is what God desires from us, but only when we are acting in His will.
With the above paragraph written, I soothed my conscience a bit. Still, I was concerned. Aren’t we Christians stalwarts of trust in God? Yes, of course we are. “So, does ‘try’ belong in a prayer?”, I muttered to myself. Quickly, I opened Biblegateway.com, select English Standard Version, and searched for “try.” There were twelve verses in the ESV that contained “try.” Well, ten because the search also returned “Tryphaena and Tryphosa.”
Eleven times “try” is used in the whole of the Bible. I was feeling that I’d gone out on shaky ground when praying “try.” Then, my eyes fell on Ephesians 5:10 (ESV). Here is that verse, in context:
Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
There it was! The Holy Spirit had inspired Paul to write “and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” That was the gist of what I’d been praying. I was on solid ground. It is okay to use that “T word” with God. In fact, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14 NIV) And, what is one of the obvious things that children do? They try things.
Try Is Okay
As we continue to live and mature in Jesus, we always will be confronting “try.” The first time we fervently pray with someone, the first time we give our testimony, the first time we (fill in the blank). All of those are preceded by our decision to “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” So, let us launch out in our prayers and launch out in our actions. It’s okay to try. We grow in our successes and grow from our failures. And, over time, our “try’s” will become “treasures” as we increase our trust in Jesus. (You’ve gotta love those T words.)
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