In our chapel services, we have recently been sharing our stories with each other. Where were you born? How did you grow up? When did you first receive salvation? These are a few of the questions we answer in these devotions, which also serve to testify of God’s guidance in our lives.
We don’t always feel we are on the right road, even if we are, even if we are doing everything we know to do. Sometimes we have confidence that our steps are ordered. That’s why it’s important to look back and see where God has guided us before and even to hear from others how God has provided for them.
I will mention the steadfast love of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercy, and according to the multitude of His kindnesses (Isaiah 63:7 Modern English Version).
As I prepared to tell my story, thinking back over my life, it occurred to me that even the most random opportunities that I had been a part of were ordered of God. Things that I didn’t think really mattered somehow fed into the larger story of my life in some way. And you can probably see that in your own lives as well. The victories, the tragedies, the random encounters, and the seemingly insignificant come full circle and you realize that you’ve been guided by the ultimate “Life Coach.” Nothing is wasted.
I asked my daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up. Last year, she quickly said “ballerina” but this time around, she had a broader field. “A mommy . . . a painter . . . a teacher . . . a singer.” Maybe, at some point in the past, I might have said, “You need to narrow this down a bit,” but now I know that God can meet every desire of her heart. Because He did so with me.
I had so many interests and at various times, if you asked me, I could tell you I wanted to be an artist or an actor or a writer or a singer. God has provided opportunity for me to participate in all of these areas to some degree. Life has not been a one-note journey but a wonderful collection of experiences for which I am grateful. Even getting married at an older age when I had almost written that possibility off proves to me that God was always listening and in charge. Everything was leading up to the right moments.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6 MEV).
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
When I was a younger, I loved the promise of the “desires of your heart” in that verse in Psalms. Through the years, I came to realize that was not a golden ticket for whatever I wanted but an unlocked door to my heart that allowed God to direct my wants. I wanted to please Him, I wanted to serve Him and I wanted to find my place. He honored that and opened the doors.
Young person or young-at-heart, I encourage you to trust Him and delight in His presence. Allow Him to walk beside you in your journey. He’s a great companion when the times are rough and a proud Father in your times of victory. When you look back, you will see with sharp clarity His involvement in every step.