Aren’t you glad I didn’t ask you to read the entire psalm, the longest of all?! Only one verse today. Psalm 119:71–‘It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.’ I read that verse at night and it kept rolling around in my head all the next day. Take a look back on your life. High hills and low valleys.
Kick myself for quite a few forays into forbidden areas of life. Like dangling my big toe in liberal theology only to find the water way too cold and shallow for my taste. Wasted precious years of early ministry trying to find my way back to the Bible. The Lord led me through the fog of my old pipe smoke, and now I can sniff out a Bible-doubter at fifty paces! Got a good nose for subtle heresy! Not sure I would have without traveling into that far country. Maybe not so bad after all.
What about having polio? Left me with a tender heart for children in need. Can’t wait to lead another child to Jesus, the best thrill of all. Those early experiences of abandonment and insecurity were not for naught. Not so bad after all.
Leaving the ministry to become a financial planner was a gut-wrenching experience, to say the least. How does one lead to the other? Well, they did… and I did fine. As a result of our own financial planning, we’ve retired early and could afford to take a minimal salary for fourteen years serving part-time at our last church. Some Sundays I gave our weekly salary back for a mission project that grabbed our hearts… and wallets! A detour in my profession was not so bad after all!
I get the feeling that you could say much the same? As if Romans 8: 28 is still true? ‘All things work together…’ Paul doesn’t say that all things are good. But in God’s hands, He can work them, craft them, mold and polish them into something for His glory. Do all things make sense to me? Hardly. May have to wait for heaven to find out. Fine with me!
For now, I’m looking forward to less treks off-track, and more following Jesus on His straight and narrow. Room to join me! How about it? Let’s go…
Prayer: Lord, we want to follow you. Give us your strength and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.