Our social life right now is busier than it has been in years. My renewed energy might be part of it, but I’m more convinced of God’s hand in our lives and realizing His will is perfect, even in the smallest things.
For instance, we expected family on Friday for dinner, but one got sick. Two came but had to go home early and did not eat with us. Two more came and did eat with us but we didn’t know they were coming until an hour before the meal. The one that was ill felt better yesterday and came with a friend. The amazing part was that all our upset plans turned out just right. We had three wonderful visits and the timing was wonderful. We have been singing Hallelujah ever since.
For most people, this seems like a minor thing, even a coincidence. For us, it was about answered prayer and about being yielded to the will of God. I was not ‘bent out of shape’ because things were not working out as I’d hoped. God had a better plan in these family events and seeing them happen helps me with trusting Him for other events, such as the mess the world seems to be experiencing. Who can guess what God will do? I am only certain that trusting Him makes a huge difference in my stress level.
Tozer puts it this way: “It is amazing how little outside stimulus we need if we have that inward stimulus. It is amazing how much God will meet our needs. It will not be God and something else. It will be God in everything.”
My favorite prophet lived at a time when God’s people were disobedient and doing their own thing. He wrote the Word of God as a promise and a warning:
“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ But they did not obey or incline their ear but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts and went backward and not forward. From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.” (Jeremiah 7:23–26)
These words sound stern but the Lord is a gentle teacher. His patience and persistence are incredible. As I look back over what He has taught me in the past 5-6 years, I’m overwhelmed at His goodness and at the way He has guided me. I am stubborn and often prone to do my own thing, but He has taught me to listen and be soft about having my way. I’m far more determined to follow His will instead. This is not perfected, but the improvement is huge and the reward is just as He says; when I walk in His ways, everything goes well with me.
Jesus, there is such joy in strolling through life with You. I’ve jumped off the path, resisted, thought I knew what I was doing, been foolish and disobedient, yet You persist in lovingly grabbing hold of me. You never let me fall too far. You know how to show me the errors of my way and bring me back to walk alongside You, trusting You even when the way seems twisty or dark or confusing. My physical heart has returned to a normal pulse and my spiritual heart is happier than ever because it too is learning what it means to live a normal Christian life with that inner stimulus that Tozer writes about, the inner presence of a joyful and gentle Almighty God.