Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah"1 (Lyrics)
This past summer, friends of ours flew in unexpectedly to nearby Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for a holiday. By the time that we had found out about their visit, they had already rented bicycles and cycled all around the lengthy Vancouver seawall. With our car, we arrived and chauffeured them around the city to see the sights. In Stanley Park, we stopped to see the totem poles, and then we took them to Prospect Point, which overlooks Lion's Gate Bridge and the mountains of North Vancouver. The lady was enthralled with the view, and stood there for the longest time, taking it all in. Finally, she explained what was going through her mind.
"When I was cycling under this bridge on the seawall, I remember looking up at this really steep cliff, and wondering what's up there. Now, as I'm standing here, I'm trying to fit it all together, and I realize that I'm now looking down on the area where I was looking up before. I now have a more complete idea of how it's all laid out, and it's all making sense."
As I considered her words, I realized that her dilemma, viewed from below, is like the experience that we have of life, restricted as we are by time and space. Not everything makes sense, and we have a lot of unanswered questions about what it all means. Meanwhile, God, looking down from the vantage point of eternity, sees everything at a glance, and knows exactly how it all fits together, and what His purpose is in the events that He allows to happen.
One of the biggest challenges that we human beings have is accepting that God is in control of our lives, and learning how to trust that God is loving, kind, wise, and good in what He allows to happen to us. Our viewpoint on life is so limited, and in the absence of complete information, we are so tempted to ascribe unworthy motives to Him, or to assume that He doesn't care about us or answer our prayers. On the contrary, He loves us dearly — so dearly that He would send His Son Jesus to sacrifice His life so that we could experience forgiveness and a close relationship with God.
Let us treasure these promises from the Lord:
Jeremiah 29:11-13 – For I know 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. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (NKJV)
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for those times of trial and uncertainty in which we doubt Your good intentions and plans for our lives. Reassure us of Your abiding love for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.