Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guided by the hand of God

If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139: 9-10

Do you know God chose you to be His child long before you were born? Even after you were born, He never let his eyes off of you. Not once.  Not even if, like me, you strayed away from Him, turned aside to do your own thing, not even when that prodigal time spread into years and years of pain and regret. Even then, God's mighty hand was still guiding you, directing you gently back onto the right path.

Many things can affect the course of a ship at sea. Weather, reefs, depth of the water, wind, Waves, currents, land, pirates! etc..  If you've ever seen a map of the old trade routes, you'll quickly notice that ships could not just sail from one port to another in a straight line. Routes went according to currents and prevailing winds and often went far out of the way of their intended destination before they arrived there safe and sound.

Our lives are much like that. God has a certain path for us to follow. A starting port and a destination. And a preplanned route for us to follow in between. Yet many of us wander off course more than once in our lives. We get buffeted by the enemy's storms and end up in the middle of  nowhere, lost and alone. We enjoy the calm weather and sunshine so much that we follow it wherever it goes and end up depleted of supplies and far from our destination.  We believe the lie of an evil navigator and end up running aground and getting stuck. Or worse, our ship is broken beyond repair. 

Yet, no matter how many times we wander off course, God is busy adjusting situations and circumstances to bring us back. How does he do this? He tosses a strong wind our way to get us to make a turn. He places a reef in our way to cause us to steer in another direction. He adjusts tides and currents to gently move us down a different path. He did this for me when I strayed from Him for years. At the time I didn't realize it, but now as I look back, I see His mighty hand in situation after situation, setting the obstacles that would divert my course.. just an inch here, just an inch there.  It took years, but He finally got me to the exact place He wanted  me. The exact place where I would see Him and where I would notice that I had been on the wrong course all along. Amazing!

God is a gentleman. He never forces His will on anyone. He doesn't zap them and change their personality or desires so that they'll follow Him.  Sometimes I wish He would have done that with me! It would have spared me many wasted years of wandering off course. Maybe you have loved ones who are out upon the sea, wandering all over the place, lost and on the wrong course.  I do.  It breaks my heart. I've spent many tears in prayer over these precious souls.  Sometimes, it seems they'll never find their way back. But I'm here to tell you that God hears your prayers, and He is not sitting back and doing nothing. Every minute of every day, He is adjusting their path bit by bit, inch by inch, tossing a reef there, sending a wind here, changing a current there... so slight that you won't notice it at all. But He is working! 

And one day, you'll see that loved one, all sails full and white against the azure sky, heading toward the right path, the narrow route that leads to paradise!


  1. Hey there Marylu!!!
    What a comforting thought, knowing that God is always working in our lives, no matter how hard it may be to detect his hand in certain situations! Reminds me of what is probably my most favorite word ever;Faithfulness. Such a beautiful word, with an even more beautiful meaning. Someone to depend on, Someone to trust. Even before we decide to put our faith in Him, God is both those things and so much more. How lucky are we???
    God Bless!

  2. Sun Feb 12th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Thank-you for todays blog "Guided by the Hand of God". Guess I needed to hear that ... yet again.
    I too, strayed away years ago ... doing 'my own thing', 'my own way'. So sorry now for those wasted and lost years !!!
    Also, I have an estranged son from our family ... one who is non-compliant, and defiant, and doing 'his own thing'. Thank-you for the reminder, NOT to grow weary in praying for him ... and that God is in the "miracle-working-business". Who better to entrust Jeff to !!!
    Yes, my hope and prayer, is that "one day" .... he will "head toward the right path, the narrow route that leads to Paradise" !!!
    Another "timely Word, in due season" !!! Thank-you ... I needed to hear this !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  3. Emily, yes, Faithfulness! Reminds me of the story of a great theologian on his death bed when asked what was the one thing he wanted to say before he died. And he smiled and said. "God is faithful."

    Brenda, we all have strayed!! Like me, some farther than others. I'm so glad this blessed you regarding Jeff. God's hand is guiding Jeff home right now.. even if we can't see it.. we must believe that God is causing storms and rocks and trials to guide our lost loved ones down the path that will eventually lead to Him. God is faithful!!

  4. Great post, MaryLu. I was thinking just this morning of a particular loved one who has strayed far and praying for them. Sometimes you wonder what's it going to take to bring them back. But God is a BIG God and He alone knows what we need when we need it.

    So glad that the love of God drew you and Brenda back. It's a blessing to have two more sisters in Christ. :)

  5. Thanks Angi!! I've still got a loved one or two wandering around the seas.. but I know God is nudging them back in the right direction. It's so comforting to truly believe that. :-)

  6. Thanks, MaryLu, for this encouraging post....I needed it! I tell myself over and over He is Faithful..even though I have many unanswered prayers. Blessings on you and the other commenters.

  7. ONE OF YOUR BEST POSTS EVER!!! (God SO used you today)

  8. Thank you Jackie and Debbie.. I'm so happy you were blessed. I thank God for giving me these posts.. He must know who needs to read them. :-) Funny thing is, I usually need to read them too!

  9. I love how you described God as a gentleman. Its so true!
    I know I've wandered around as well-there were many times when my number one focus was not God. But I am so grateful that He uses people (like you!) to remind us that He is there, and that He will always be there.

    Your post also brings up the subject of (as some would call it) predestination vs. free will. Ever had difficulty explaining this to non-Christians? I have several friends (one is a Hindu)who constantly debate with me about this. After a very looooong debate, I finally told them this: God doesn't want puppets. He wants people to worship and follow Him out of free will.

  10. Thanks Eszter! Theologians have had trouble for years trying to explain predestination and Free will, so it's no wonder it's difficult for us to explain to others. It's hard to even understand ourselves! But what you said is perfect, in my opinion. God wants us to love Him because we love Him not because we have to love him. So, He gives us free will. Predestination is when God calls certain people to belong to Him over others. Though God wishes all to be saved, not all will choose Him. Since He is God and is outside of time, He knows who will choose Him and who will not. So, the ones who will choose Him, He calls to Himself. At least that's the way it makes sense to me.