As I stand guard at my school crossing, thoughts for devotionals flit through my brain like those message bars scrolling across the bottom of your television set. From these ideas, I started a number of different themes. They were all perfectly sound ideas, and I had the Scripture texts picked out to support them, but for some reason or another, I would get only so far and then hit a writer's block. Finally, I put the whole thing aside and just let it all gel. Maybe they will be completed someday. Meanwhile, when I would usually be writing, I would read or go about my usual business.
As the month moved onwards, I turned to prayer — something I should have remembered to do first. Lord, I am pretty sure that You want me to write these; what do you want me to say?
One day after my crossing duties, I was sitting at the coffee shop reading, and there was God's answer. At the front of the book was the following Scripture reference:
Proverbs 16:9 – A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (RSV)
How often this very thing has happened in my own life. I would make big plans, and God would let something else happen to change them. In college, for example, I started out in radio and television broadcasting. This was abandoned after one semester when it became apparent that my panic attacks in front of the microphone were not going to go away. I ended up with majors in sociology, philosophy, and religion. Later studies earned me a teaching diploma in Bible studies.
Matthew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (RSV)
That I got this far with this devotional after prayer is a perfect example of how God answers prayer and uses us for His purpose when He changes our plans. It's hard sometimes to see where He is leading us in our lives, but hindsight shows us over and over again how much greater God's plans are than our own. It also illustrates how His unexpected answers to our prayers are so often much better and greater than anything we could ask for.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord God, for always being in our midst, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. Thank You for leading and guiding us even when we don't see it and for how You are preparing us for what is to come. Thank You for all Your wondrous actions and blessings in our lives and — when we are open to Your leading — for taking us to far better things than we have imagined. Thank You, above all, for the gift of Your Son Jesus, and that through an acceptance of Him as our Saviour and Guide, all that You ask of us becomes possible. Help us always to be open to Your leading through Jesus, our Lord of possibilities. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Wise May Bring Their Learning" (Lyrics)