Friday, April 17, 2009

Devotional: Life's Intersections

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” – Jer. 10:23

“A man’s steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?”
- Proverbs 20:24

I was driving down the road the other day and came to an intersection where I had to turn left. I was waiting behind several cars as I waited for my turn to make the left and noticed that the oncoming cars were very far off. As the cars were turning I noticed that, even though the oncoming cars were far off, each driver was hesitating and double-checking before turning. I started wondering, as I was eager to turn before the light changed, why the driver’s were double-checking and hesitating before they turned if the oncoming cars were so far away. Then God hit me with a realization.

He placed on my heart that we, people, often double-check and hesitate before going onto a path that God has made for us. God oftentimes opens a door for us, and we know that it is clear and open and from Him, yet for some reason, we hesitate and double-check to make sure it is clear to go. We second-guess His decision and the path He has set before us and we think, “Well, that looks clear, but I might have a better idea,” or, “Are you sure, God, I mean, everything looks clear, and You are in control, but what about (enter fear or question here)?” Sometimes He gives us a way that we faithfully go into but after time, we stray from it because we put our desires first, get tired of waiting on results, or we want things done quicker, we want shortcuts. We forget that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We also forget that God knows “the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Sometimes we are waiting on the Lord but we grow impatient and forget that everything is done in God’s time, not ours, and that time is nothing to God. As I continued driving I saw an airplane rising above the rising sun and I was reminded of the verse: “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). If we wait on God, He will lift us up, He will give us the strength to endure the wait and the outcome will be greater than what we would have come up with ourselves.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we should always check an intersection (literal intersection) before crossing, but in the intersections of life we need to remember that God is the Crossing Guard and we are His. The Crossing Guard holds up the stop sign and the whistle to command attention. We are in the hands of an Awesome Creator who has an awesome plan for us. Yes, this plan may include being put through the fire and it may be scary but in the trials we face, we are being built up. The suffering we endure under Christ is not for no reason. In Christ it all has a purpose. I encourage you to fully put your trust in Him and instead of questioning God, when He leads you in a certain direction or down a certain path, I encourage and challenge you, and myself, to make the turns that God desires us to make, and to live the life He desires for you. There is nothing better than being in the will of God, and even though cars may be coming fast and hard from the other direction, God, our Crossing Guard, is in control.

Sometimes the paths we must go down are painful and sad, but God is with us every step of the way. Our foundation, the foundation of Jesus Christ is unshakeable, immovable. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” God won’t leave us hanging in the middle of the intersection by ourselves especially when there’s oncoming traffic. He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

References: The Bible, NKJV;

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