Exodus 28:22-28 – You shall make chains for the breastplate at the end, like braided cords of pure gold. And you shall make two rings of gold for the breastplate and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. Then you shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate; and the other two ends of the two braided chains you shall fasten to the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in the front. You shall make two rings of gold and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on the edge of it, which is on the inner side of the ephod. And two other rings of gold you shall make, and put them on the two shoulder straps, underneath the ephod toward its front, right at the seam above the intricately woven band of the ephod. They shall bind the breastplate by means of its rings to the ephod, using a blue cord, so that it is above the intricately woven band of the ephod and so that the breastplate does not come loose from the ephod. (NKJV)
A few days ago, I received an e-mail request from a stranger. She asked if I could please tell her the origin of "There, but for the grace of God, go I", as I'd used it in my devotional.
I happily complied. My curiosity, however, was tweaked, for my two devotionals with that title had appeared on February 23, 1998 and October 17, 1998. I was interested to know how it was she came across them now — three years later.
Her reply, expressing thanks, was quite amazing. Curious (I'm assuming after having heard it used) as to its origin, she searched the Internet, to no avail, save for a compact disk with the same title. She then searched using Bartlett's Famous Quotations, which led to a number of links. The pathway of one that she didn't remember listed my devotional as a link.
Finding that it was a devotional, she thought she would pause for a short time, click on the link, and read the devotional. She liked it, then contacted me to ask as to the origin of the quotation and about further devotionals. Directions to Daily were included in my answer.
While typing today's accompanying scripture, I was tempted to put just verses 22 and 28, excluding the verses in between, with a brief sentence stating that they included instructions on how to link all the pieces together to be bound to one.
We are like that sometimes when He is guiding us. We often don't see how one thing we are led to do will connect us to where we think we want to go, or to what it is we think we are looking for. We don't always know where He will lead us when we start out on a pathway, and we sometimes find it uninteresting, unrelated or taking too long to get to where we're going. We may be tempted to cut some corners, to leave some steps out.
We can be assured, however, that He knows where we are going, and, if we put our trust in Him and follow His lead, everything will eventually "link" up. The rewards and experiences are most often far beyond our wildest imaginings.
Prayer: Help us to stay focused, Lord, when where You are leading us seems tedious and unrelated to what we think we would like to do. Help us to remember that what You want for us is often much different than what we think we want for ourselves. May we be assured of Your presence in those times when we might wonder if You know what You are doing; and when we feel tested, may it serve to strengthen our trust and faith in You. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Editor's Note: William Booth was a pawnbroker who felt the pain of poor people who had to pawn their treasured possessions to stay alive. He felt the call of God to help the poor and underprivileged. At a Quaker's meeting in a tent in an abandoned graveyard, he gave his testimony and began his ministry to down-and-outers, the Salvation Army. One night he and his son Bramwell were walking past the pub at Miles End Waste. The door flew open and they could see the carousing drunks inside. Booth said to his son, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."