“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I sat in this same spot 15 years ago after I finished University, looking across Lake Ontario to the Toronto skyline (which I could actually see that day) knowing that I was moving there in 3 months and having no idea what the Lord had in store for me.
I had thought it would be to become “teacher of the year”, marry an incredible man and have a family and live happily ever after. 15 years later I am sitting in a very different place than I thought I’d be.
That time in my life was a huge change. Life as a student was over, all my friends (including me) were moving to different parts of the country, many were getting married, I was beginning a career, alone in a big city, had to find a new church… new life. That part isn’t much different today, this has been a year of huge change again. New church, friends getting married, friends moving, I’m moving to a home finally, I lost my Dad a few months ago, ministry is looking different… CHANGE.
Most of my friends would say I hate change. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I’m not sure its entirely accurate. I actually get bored doing the same thing pretty easily, I work a lot better when things change up, not the same thing day in day out… it’s why I became a teacher. So I’m not sure its inherently change that I don’t like, I think it’s the lack of control that usually comes with it. If I can control my change, “make my plans in my heart” (Prov 16) then I actually like it. It’s when other people make the changes, or I have no control over the circumstances that I get freaked out and desperately cling to what currently is. Dig my heels in and balk at change.
When “the LORD directs my steps” (Prov 16) I don’t know the outcome, I can’t protect my heart from being hurt, I don’t know that things will work out, or if I’ll go through this situation alone.
Even as I wrote that last paragraph I had to smile, because aren’t all those things the very things that cause me to cling to the LORD? The UNCHANGING One? He knows the outcome and will protect my heart, or at least comfort it when it’s broken. He promises to work all things out for good for those who love Him, and there is no situation I can go through alone because He promises to never leave me.
Perhaps, this is the very reason why the only constant in life is change; to cause me “…to love the LORD (my) God, and to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments and to cling to Him…” (Joshua 22:5)
The reason I was sitting in this spot tonight was because I had gone home to see my mom today. We spent some time going through my Dad’s stuff which is always difficult, the memories are still hard to handle. But as we were looking through things, I found that my mom had kept the shelf from my old bedroom just the way I left it. On the underside of it, which had been right above my pillow, were tonnes of old papers with verses written on them that I had pasted there to read first thing in the morning and when I went to bed. The funny thing is, so many of them are still verses that I cling to today, I even have most of them written in different places in my house now.
Funny… clinging to Him never changes.