Some lessons are learned by walking them. I had retired and had plans to get so many things accomplished. God had other plans. He knew I had some healing to do and he provided the space for that. But then, I got stuck. I had spent so many years rushing that once I set down to rest, I just stayed there. I knew this was not good, so I took a part-time job. I planned to be out around others, being more social, which can be a challenge for this introvert, and to learn a lot of new things. God must have chuckled at those plans because I find myself often spending 90% of my time in the office alone. The first few weeks, I learned a lot, but then the job became pretty routine. The need to stretch my mind is rare. But God did provide a lot of time to think. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that God knew I was going to get stuck and he just wanted to get me moving again. He is teaching me to value the flexibility of retirement but to apply the same structure and discipline I had during my working years at perhaps just a bit less frantic pace. While he left me free to choose the path he would use to teach me this lesson, he provided the lesson all the same.
God really is interested in every detail of our lives. If you look up the word here for directs is means orders or established. God brings a sense of order to the decisions we make, even if you sometimes tend to ping or be a bit random as I can. Sometimes it just takes a little nudge, other times we need a shove to get going in the right direction.
When we read that God directs our steps, this is not as in laying out a road and commanding we walk only on a single path. His direction is more of a goal than individual steps, and he moves us steadily in that direction by moving things out of our way that might trip us or allowing other events, even though they may be difficult, to remain in our path. His guidance will grow our character and our faith too if we acknowledge His hand on our lives.
David is writing this Psalm, and he’s speaking from experience. He’s writing about the preservation of the life of one who delights in the Lord because he has had first-hand experience of God showing up and preserving his life.
He’s the boy who was chosen least likely to be anointed king by his father and his brothers but was anointed king. Why? Because God was looking at his heart and liked what he saw, a young boy, who trusted in him.
He’s the boy who threw off man’s protection of oversized armor, facing a seemingly invincible giant with his faith and a slingshot along with a healthy dose of indignation that his countrymen were allowing their God to be insulted.
He’s a young man, on the run from a king and his army learning how to be a king. Trusting God for provision and finding it again and again.
Put It Into Action
As you lean into this verse this week ask yourself:
- In what difficult circumstances of your life have you seen God provide for you?
- Where do you sense God’s pleasure as you walk through life?
- Where do you think God may be re-directing your path?
- Can you think of small things in your life where God has shown up?
- Proverbs 16:9 says We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. What does this verse mean to you in light of this week’s verse?
- Proverbs 149:11 remind’s us that the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him. Those who put their hope in his unfailing love. The fear spoken of is a healthy respect. How does this influence your path?
Father, we are so thankful that no detail of our lives is too small for your attention. You care about the little things as well as the large. We also thank you both for the freedom to make our own choices and your gentle or even not so gentle redirection when it’s called for.
I know that you want what’s best for us, and because you created us, you know what delights us, and you provide for our fulfillment. Because we can be so short-sighted sometimes God, we thank you for using your infinite knowledge to keep us safe, prepare us for the path ahead and pointing us in a direction that is good for us when we get off track. Help us tune our hearts to hear your voice.
The NLT Bible translation is used for all verses quoted here.
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