This weekend went by pretty quickly. It was fairly good one and I spent most of Sunday in the comfort of my own home. On Saturday, however, I had a blast from the past and a rather pleasant one.
I visited my hometown with my mom and my older sister and our kids. We visited Mom’s old friend and spent some time with childhood friends. Being the deep thinker I am, I started to wonder what it would have been like if we never moved away. Things would definitely have been different considering the influences we had around us. That also applies to my parents. I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t have gotten married so young if my parents had kept the same friends.
As I pondered, I laughed because I knew God would be laughing at my pondering. There are no what-ifs, our destinies are planned for us by God from the moment we are born. God has plans for us that no one can predict. I have learned not to question the way God works and how mysterious his ways are.
The saying that God works in mysterious ways doesn’t come from a religious text. In fact, it goes back to a poem written by William Cowper in the 18th century based on experience of his. Cowper was depressed and wanted to commit suicide as a result of depression. He flagged down a cab (I assume a horse, driver, and carriage) and told the driver to take him to the Thames River so that he could drown himself. However, a thick fog came and prevented them from finding the river. After driving around and lost, the cabby finally dropped Cowper off. To Cowper’s surprise, he was at his own doorstep. Whether it was God intervening or the cab driver’s purposeful action, Cowper strongly believed that God sent him the fog to prevent him from killing himself. Because even in our darkest moments, God is watching over us.
God moves in a mysterious way by William Cowper
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
I remember questioning God after my brother died through my grief. I remember trying to understand why we were given such an incredible, and perhaps hopeless, battle to fight. It was many months later that I realized that what God gave to us was a gift. Yes, my brother had cancer and the odds were against him, but God allowed us the opportunity to set differences aside, show our love to him, to work as a family, and to say goodbye. We didn’t lose my brother without warning. In fact, we were given a warning that allowed us to make the best of a really bad situation. And my brother was given an amazing gift because he didn’t die alone.
I have learned through so much trial that I sometimes need to let God take control of the wheel. I can always trust God to clear the way for me. I also know how important patience is because God’s timing and will is perfect and not always on my schedule. Sometimes, I find myself being impatient so I imagine myself in my car. I am driving and God is in the passenger seat. Everything is going as I planned and I feel safe with him by my side. As visualize this, I feel God’s presence and I know he is with me along for the long haul. God is there so long as I allow him to be a part of my life. I have to keep him in the passenger seat because God will know precisely the right moment when it is time to take the wheel. Allowing him to take the wheel when I can no longer drive means that I trust him as to guide me towards my destiny even though I don’t know what it holds.
Gods knows me and knows what I need. That is why I don’t focus on what-ifs anymore. I understand that God sometimes takes the long way in order for me to figure out what the point of the journey is. God allow wants me to hand over the keys to him when I cannot no longer take the journey alone. It also means that once I hand him the keys, I need to allow him to determine my destination. It has taken me quite some time to come to this conclusion but I know now that I can trust God to direct me to where I need to be, and not necessarily where I want to be.
Yes, I can look at the past and wonder all the what-ifs I want or I can allow God to take me to the places I need to be. Every time, I stop to ponder about what-if, I look at my sons and I am glad that my journey led me to them – that God took the wheel and drove me to the place that I was most needed and the place I needed to be.