Lord, I praise you that I did not wake up alone this morning, for you were there waiting for me, ready with the elements of this day, all carefully arranged, wisely laid out, lovingly prepared. “My times are in your hands….” (Ps. 31:15)
As human beings we live in the flow of history where events propel us through the day, the week, the year and beyond. The vast majority of these events are outside of our control, swirling in and out of our lives without our desire or power: wars, floods, famines, storms, political changes and economic shifts come and go in a seemingly meaningless, random pattern, empowering some, snuffing out lives of others, bringing and taking prosperity, uniting and separating families and strangers.
Even on a personal level I have only a certain amount of decision-making control, mostly in how to spend the time, money and energy given me. In the limited scope of my life, it seems to be quite a bit of power, but outside events can easily disrupt this control: an accident, sickness, loss of income, a fire, a storm, a fight ending a relationship—any one of these or many others can come to me easily without my wanting or preventing it.
Only on the micro-scale of my inner thought life do I have some reasonable control, and even there as a sinner I am weak, with selfish, negative thoughts, desires and emotions rising unbidden and unwanted out of the swamp of my flesh.
To think of how powerless I am is disturbing: human beings do not like weakness, randomness and insecurity.
However, when we become a child of God, born again into His family, there is a great shift in this scene. While the situation remains the same, one significant truth is added that changes everything drastically. All those events and things that are out of my control are fully and securely in the hands of our loving and powerful Heavenly Father.
He who breathed the stars into existence, who hung the earth on nothing, who set it in right orbit around the sun, who spun it at the right speed on a perfectly tilted axis, who formed the mountains and valleys, who spoke the animals into life—He is the One who holds our history in His hands.
He is not only in control, He has a specific, detailed plan, one that will not fail: “…the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” And no one can frustrate Him in it: “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.” (Psalm 33:11,10)
No matter how hard we may try, we cannot circumvent what God has prepared: “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” (Pro. 21:30)
What our Father has prepared for us is good: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jer. 29:11) He may lead us through many difficulties, as the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, but these are for our good, our maturity, our equipping, our bringing more glory to God.