Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Presuming to Know the Mind of God - Meyer

I regularly pray, asking God for wisdom and direction for all the little and big decisions of my year, weeks, days and moments. I trust that He will guide me. Some things are clear, of course – no-brainer decisions such as telling the truth and being faithful to my husband – the Bible’s pretty clear about God’s will for our lives on quite a lot of issues.

But there are some things that, well, I guess He leaves up to us. There’s no chapter and verse to quote about taking a job in Norway House instead of Winnipeg – or setting a book launch date for June 23rd instead of June 29th. How can I know for sure if God wants me to go to Write! Canada this year?

Recently, I made a decision that I presumed was God’s will. Apparently, it wasn’t. Where did I go wrong? Can He still make it right (the Bible says that all things work together for good)? Was it His will for me to make that decision even though things didn’t turn out as I expected? Maybe He had a better plan and I just don’t see the full picture yet? I prayed earnestly and then, trusting Him, went ahead with what I presumed would be His will. Was my own will tangled up in there somehow? Yes, likely, to some extent. So much so that I couldn’t hear the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit nudging me one way or the other? Maybe.

I was actually, well, a little upset with God that things didn’t work out as planned. I’d prayed. I’d stepped out in faith. He could have pulled things together and He didn’t. I felt let down. Disappointed. Should I pray about the next decision that I need to make? Should I trust that things will work out in the next situation? Will I blow it again? Did I blow it this time? What is God thinking about all of this? Is He disappointed that I made a wrong choice? Is He disgusted that I went my own way instead of His? Did He punish me by making things not work out?

Recently, I read through the anthology: Hot Apple Cider. Great book, by the way. It gave me a really good introduction to 30 Canadian Christian authors, most of whose work I had not had an opportunity to read before. One of these authors was Shiela Wray Gregoire. I particularly enjoyed reading her piece entitled: Romance Amid Reality. What I got out of it was that I should stop presuming to know the mind of my husband. I realized this when my husband, John, walked into the room while I was reading this book. Immediately, the thought came into my head that he would be thinking that I was lazy and should be up working instead of reading a book lying down on the couch. Now, I know that’s not true – John is always trying to get me to slow down and rest more. (What I was more likely hearing was an echo of my mother’s voice from long ago).

I quite often make automatic presumptions about what people are thinking without really taking the time to ponder how this fits in with what I know about them.

For me, I guess, the real heart of the matter is my relationship with God. Do I still trust Him? Do I still continue to prayerfully make the best decisions I can make. Does God still have kind thoughts towards me even if I’ve apparently made a “wrong” choice? Can I presume to know the mind of God?
In the Bible, in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, God is reassuring a group of people who have badly misjudged His will. Verse eleven begins: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil…”

Knowing who God is, that He loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me, so that I could have a relationship with Him, is it safe to presume that I might know at least some of His thoughts?

According to Jeremiah (and many other wonderful verses in the Bible), yes, I can presume that His thoughts towards me are of love and of peace. That even if I am blowing it on a regular basis, His gentle arms are wrapped around me, carrying me through each and every small and large decision of every moment, every day, every week and every year.

Dorene Meyer
Author of Deep Waters

1 comment:

Marci said...

Good insight, Dorene. Hope you make it to W!C this year.

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