1163) Directed by the Lord

From A Touch of His Love, by Al Rogness,  pages 44-5 

     “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says the Lord.  Isn’t that fortunate?  And isn’t it fortunate that God sometimes annuls our ways, blocks us from doing something our way, and directs us into His way?

     God expects us to plan.  After all, why has he given us a mind?  But our best plans may not be good enough for him.  In his great love he may deny us the course we have laid out for ourselves.  Only in retrospect, after our best-laid plans lie in rubble and we have turned to something else, only then may we know the mystery of his ways and find them good.

     A bee flies into a room through an open window and buzzes around, frantically trying to escape.  It dashes its little body against the windowpanes.  You take a towel and try to guide it toward the open window, but the bee, thinking you are an enemy, dashes itself against the towel.  At last you maneuver it to the open window.  Suddenly free again, it darts out into the great, open spaces.

     God is sometimes like a man with a towel; and we, like the bee, mistaking the towel for an enemy, keep resisting his gentle push toward freedom and goodness.  What a sorry mankind we would be if God did not bother, if he let us dash ourselves against the bondage of our own limited plans, and never nudged us toward the abundant life he has designed for us.

     It could be that the loss of money, the loss of health, the loss of friends, etc., might be God’s greater wisdom becoming the open windows to something much better than we could ever dream.  Many people have been trapped by power and position and wealth and have no longer been free to rely on God, to turn to their brothers, and to know the simple joys of the kingdom.

     Thank God, he does meddle.  He does direct our steps.

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Isaiah 55:8-9 — “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 20:24 — A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?

Jeremiah 10:23-24 — I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.  Correct me, Lord, but only with justice– not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.

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Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                                                

Lutheran Book of Worship, Augsburg Publishing House, 1978.

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