In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Thinking about the past and all that God has done in my life gives me a sense of His detailed sovereignty and His Fatherly love for me. He has been involved not only in the overall scope of His plan for my life, He has been intricately involved in the details. I remember years ago I was driving just outside of Phoenix, Arizona out in the desert when a sparrow flew into the front of my car and apparently was instantly killed. I was immediately reminded of a scripture I read that very morning, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” Matt.10:29
I had been going through a time of financial pressure and was struggling with worry, doubt, and fear. When I saw the bird fall to the ground and then remembered the scripture, I was suddenly aware that The Lord was watching me, He was there with me, and He was orchestrating the events of my life. He had me covered.
Thinking over the years of my life, He has been guiding and providing for me every step of the way. He protected Parris and I during our treeplanting years, living in questionable conditions and working and driving in a dangerous environment. He helped us when I had no job, no real work experience (unless pushing chicken manure counts) and we were trying to start our church. He supplied in those early days and He has kept us in some amazing circumstances. We have overcome apparent bankruptcy, betrayals and church splits, Katrina, and various other trials and tribulations. Not only has He kept us, He has blessed us beyond words. Martin Luther also spoke of the blessing of looking back at what God has done in our lives.
“Looking back, people can see how much they have accomplished and suffered without trying or thinking about it, even against their wishes and wills. They gave such little thought to what they were doing before it occurred or when it was happening. Now, after everything has been carried out, they are amazed and say, “Why did these things happen to me when I never thought about them or thought something completely different would happen?” So Proverbs 16:9 is true: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps,” even against his plan and will. So we must agree that our own cleverness and foresight don’t guide our lives and actions. Instead, God’s wonderful power, wisdom, and goodness guide us. Only as we look back do we fully recognize how often God was with us when we neither saw his hand nor felt his presence at the time it was happening. Accordingly, Peter said, “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).”
If you are struggling today remember, He has been faithful in the past and He is faithful still. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He always finishes what He starts.