‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.’ Proverbs 16 v 9.
How true that is!
We can spend so much time and energy
Plotting out our future and the way we want to take,
Forming pictures in our heads
And dreams in our hearts,
Only for God to overrule
And direct our steps another way.
Sometimes it seems like He manoeuvres us,
Hedging us in and round about,
So that we have no alternative
But to go the way ahead,
One step at a time.
Other times it seems like
There is no real path,
Only an empty, open plain
With no clear guidance,
Nothing cut and dried.
Sometimes we set out on a certain course,
Sure that we have it all worked out,
Confident we have ascertained
Corrrectly His will for our lives,
Firm in our resolve that
THIS is how He would have us serve Him,
Only to discover that
For some unknown reason
He has other things planned.
One by one
And we are left flummoxed,
Unable to understand.
And that is when it is twice as hard.
The temptation is to
Shout and scream in frustration,
To fight against it,
To mourn the loss of our beloved intentions,
The future we had mapped out for ourselves.
It hurts to give up dearly held and
Long awaited ambitions
That are on the brink of
Being followed through.
And yet, because He is sovereign,
And our Lord as well as Saviour,
We have no real choice
Except to follow where He leads,
To go where He sends,
To do what He asks,
To DIE to self,
In all its painful agony;
A laying down and humbling
Of our castles in the air,
However noble and good they may have been,
And perfectly legitimate in their own right.
We have to recognise,
That the sacrifice He asks us to give
Is as nothing compared to the one offered up by Him
For our sakes.
However much it hurts us,
It hurt Him more.
And yet our reward will be greater!
We gain out of all proportion
To what we surrender for His sake.
If we call Him ‘Master’
What else can we do,
Except to submit,
Else we are hypocrites
And think ourselves better than He.
And it is in submitting to Him
That we find a richness of grace
That we never would have known before.
We can begin to appreciate more
The sacrifice He made in
Leaving His glorious home
And coming to earth as a man
To live among us, in all our
Ugliness and povery of spirit,
In order to take up His cross
And surrender His life completely for us.
Surely Someone Who loved us so much
That He gave up everything
Will enable us with that same power,
With those same riches
Bought for us at His expense,
To do the work He has called us to do?
Lord, forgive us our feebleness!
Give us the courage to press forward,
Step by step,
In the way you would have us go,
And in the doing thereof
We will experience a greater fellowship
With You in Your sufferings,
And a more profound and
Deeper appreciation of Your indescribable love.