Along the Path

Summer Worship BackgroundsI’ve always been a planner.  Just ask my mom.  When I was young girl, I would make list after list weeks before I had to pack for church camp.  Now, when I was nine or ten, I didn’t have a very big wardrobe (I shared one small closet with two sisters!).  I had yet to earn my nickname of “Imelda” because of my love of shoes.  Packing for camp didn’t require a lot of planning. No, I just wanted to be prepared.  I didn’t want to get up to camp and realize that I had forgotten something.

Nothing has changed in the intervening years. I like to have everything planned well ahead of time. I like to see where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.  I don’t like surprises.  I want to be in control with a tight grip on the reins.  I don’t like giving up control to someone else because they might miss something vital only I know about.

But on this journey with the Father, He asks us to let go and allow Him to lead us along the path.  This is a scary proposition because sometimes I can’t see beyond the next step.  What if there’s a cliff up ahead?  Shouldn’t I be able to see the path clearly so I can make plans to avert danger?  In answer to this the Father says, “Be still and know that I am God . . .” (Psalm 46:10). When our enemies are raging against us He says, “Be still.”  When we can’t see a way out He says, “. . . know that I am God.”

Most of you will say, “That’s not as easy as it sound.”  And I’ll be honest with you.  That has been my attitude most of my life.  I want to trust that the Father has everything under control but He may not be in possession of critical facts that have a bearing on events in my life.  Wait a minute!  Did I really just say that there might be something that God doesn’t know about me?  Even if I’ve never said those words out loud, my attitude and action have spoken volumes.  I’ve grabbed the reins out of His hands and said, “I’ll take it from here,” only to go running back to Him when things crash and burn.

In July of 2012, I lot my job.  Actually, it was a mutual parting of the ways between my employer and me.  I absolutely hated that job. But . . . it was a job.  God had provided it for me after I got laid off by the City of Fresno.  But would He really give me a job that I would end up hating so much?  What on the outside looked like some horrible mistake, became one of the most intense internal changes my heart has ever gone through. When I would try to take the reins, the Holy Spirit would remind me of what Jesus told us about the Father in Matthew 6.  In verse 8 he said, “. . . for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” He knows everything about me.  He is aware of what I need and when I need it.  I don’t have to be afraid that He’s going to miss some important detail.  He created the details!

My job search in ongoing; I’m starting a temporary job it the IRS at the end of March.  God has provided for me and I am confident that He will continue to provide.  I have His Word on it.  

Matthew 6:25-26 says:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (emphasis added)

I am precious to God.  You are precious to Him, too.  He know all about us – our weaknesses, our failures – and yet He values us above all His other creations.  He knows what we need, even before we do.

So what does that leave for us to do?  Verse 33 sums it up for us:  “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (emphasis added).

More on that later.

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