I’m not sure I can count the number of times that Benjamin and I swore that we would never do something, right before God called us to do it.
Maybe a hundred?
There was the time we said we would never go to grad school. (Hello, Clarks Summit University!)
And then there was the time we said we would never leave Tucson. (See pictures of moving boxes sitting in Casa Grande.)
Or the time we said we would never go to a church where our family already went. (First church – grandparents and aunt and uncle. Second church – my family goes and Benjamin’s dad is the PASTOR.)
In other words, we have learned that we have no idea what our life will look like 3 years from now or 3 days from now or really even 3 minutes from now.
And as we are gearing up to share with you our life story and what following Jesus looks like for us (and hearing where God is taking you), I’m reminded again that I need to work on my view of the bends in the road.
After all, how many people in the Bible do we think were expecting to be taken on the journey that God put them on? Do we think Esther had planned to be a king’s bride who would save her people? What about the little shepherd, David? I doubt his life goals included becoming king. Or what about Noah? Or Abraham? Or how about Lazarus? I am certain he did not plan for his life to demonstrate the glory of God and the deity of Jesus by getting sick and dying so that he could be raised again!
In Isaiah 55:9, God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
If there was any verse that spoke right into our problem of saying, “We will never…!”, it is that one. God’s ways and thoughts are not only different from ours, they are better!
In other words, I should be reacting to those bends in the road like Paul, who said, “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20). He knew that dying to self and living for Christ was his purpose, and he lived that out fully — putting God’s plan ahead of his own desires for the glory of God, the good of those around him, and the growth of his own relationship with his Heavenly Father.
And he just knew exactly what we already know — that when the loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe asks us to make ourselves into a “living sacrifice” in Romans 12:1, we really can do it with the confidence that it is for our good to leave our plans in the hands of a God who might change them pretty drastically. Why? Well, because He is loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful! His thoughts and plans for us will grow us and shape us into images of His Son if we let Him work in us without reservation.
So if you know your upcoming bend in the road is to move across the country, start a blog, have a baby, get a new job, buy a new house, start taking classes, or grow some better habits, take that dream or that goal and lay it before God, asking Him to keep taking that bend in whatever direction He chooses.
And if you are busy saying, “never will I ever…”, take that to God too. He is longing to strengthen you and to teach you about His trustworthiness. He certainly is teaching me!
Share your story! What bends in the road has God put in your way? What are some of your “I will nevers”? How has God shown you that His ways are wonderfully, perfectly higher than yours?