“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.
If there is any verse in the Bible that I have learned the hard way it is this one. For this girl, I have been planning things since I was a child. I have been mindful of what to do, when to do and how to do in every aspect of my life. I have made up my mind on a million different ideas, opinions and plots. I have had momentary successes but more consequential missteps. I have had dreams dashed and expectations never realized. I have feared the anticipated death of a family member only for her to live, and experienced the deaths of others that I didn’t see coming. When I think I have something figured out the opposite occurs. I finally told my mother a while back that ‘the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know anything at all!’ We now say that frequently and it seems to fit in most situations.
What does the woman do who never planned on being abandoned by her husband in her forties…or the man who was welcomed into the company years ago only to be let go right before retirement. What do we do with the dream of parenthood replaced with the reality of infertility? The mind of man trumped by the mind of God… who can reconcile its mysteries? The bottom line truth is that whatever we have faced or will face has been directed by God or allowed by God. With this truth, we must settle in our hearts that God is love first and foremost. He will use any hardship we face to show us more of Himself. Just as we are motivated by love when directing the steps of our children, God is also working out of His love for us to develop us into our best. God is concerned with intimacy first, with plans and purposes being secondary. Whatever comes into our lives God will use every challenging circumstance and painful situation to move more deeply in fellowship with us. ‘While we often want the easiest and least challenging route to abundant life in Christ, we must acknowledge that God wants to take us on the path that fosters a deeper relationship with Him. He wants to lay aside our determination to do life our way and follow Him. Only when we do this can we truly become ready to face what lies ahead.’ One In A Million, p. 40. We must never lose sight of his sovereignty and the amazement of His mighty works.
‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?’ Psalm 8:3-4.