I will advise and watch over you, says the Lord
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and depend not on your own understanding.
6 Seek His Will in everything you do, and He will show you which path you should take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
8 Thus says the Lord; “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you,” (Psalm 32:8)
I have read the above verses over and over for the past few years with the intention of aligning my thoughts with God’s word, but every time I had an important decision to make, somehow, I just couldn’t trust anyone, not even God.
So I started wondering why it was that I couldn’t trust God and His guidance if He is the one who blessed me with my life to start with.
Fortunately, after a period of prayers and fasting, I heard a voice telling me to be humble and depend not on my own understanding. It repeatedly told me to stop being wise in my own eyes and listen. He wanted me to know that there is God who knows better than me and who is willing to guide me along the best path way for my life.
Honestly speaking, I felt bad, because back then I did not realize it was my pride that was stopping me from placing all my trust in God, and as a result, most of the things I tried doing, I was never able to get the results I was expecting. How foolish I was!
A few days later, I purchased a Bible app with comments, and going over the comments of the aforementioned verses, I found that I was not alone struggling with pride.
It is part of our human nature to be overprotective of our interests. Our tendency is to avoid at all cost the interference of someone else in our private matters, including God.
Because of our pride, we tend to want to do it on our own so we can say, “I did it”. But as always, we are wrong. We should at all times, trust and depend on God even in the small matters. He knows better than us. He is a better judge of what we want than we are, because He can see beyond our eyes reach.
I tell you this to say, placing your full trust in God, is the best decision you can ever make; and always remember, God’s time is always the right time.
You see, I left my home country when I was just a teenager. Later, as a grown man I settled to live in a foreign land. For many years I did all that I thought was good before God to make money, with the intention of one day going back home to visit my family, but I never had enough cash to even purchase a plane ticket.
But thanks be to God, He gave me the grace to patiently wait for His time. He was patiently preparing me spiritually while at the same time creating the necessary conditions for me to receive His blessings. God was ready long ago. It was me who actually needed time to grow spiritually for what I would later experience in my life.
So when the time was up, when God saw that I was ready, He allowed me to have enough money to pay for the plane ticket and even have some extra money to purchase presents for my mother and my siblings.
But that was not the issue.
When I arrived at the airport of my country, my old school mates picked me up and took me straight away to a street frequented with prostitutes. When I got there, I saw many beautiful ladies. My friends did that because in their minds, they thought I was still the old me who was always after women.
It was at that point when I realized that I was no longer the old me. With God’s grace, I was able to say, thank you for taking me to this place, but no, thank you. They didn’t believe that of course, and honestly, neither did I.
Afterwards, they took me to the place where I was supposed to stay. Once in my room, the first thing I did was kneel at my bedside and prayed before God the Father, through Jesus our Lord, and thanked Him for His protection and guidance. God was there with me the entire time, and He has never left my side. Praise be His Name forever!
This entire situation made me remember a story that my wife told me some time ago, about a butterfly struggling in its cocoon. I decided to look it up online and the same is detailed below.
Cocoon and the Butterfly
Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back. He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
As you can see, just as it is with the butterfly story, the same principals apply in our daily spiritual lives. As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is through tough moments in our lives that cause us to grow spiritually.
It is clear then that we will never fully understand God, but His intentions are never to harm us as many of us may think. We have a loving Father who cares for our wellbeing.
He is more interested in saving our souls than giving us all the riches of this world, especially if that can lead us astray. Just as it is written in (Jeremiah 29:11) saying, for I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
I would further add that the future and hope referred to in this scripture is not only in relation to this world but also refers to a lasting future and hope with God in the next life.
Thank you for your promise that you will guide us along the best pathway for our lives.
Thank you for your promise that you will always advise us and watch over us, in Jesus Name. Amen.