“In Him, we were also chosen . . . according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
I have often joked that “guilt is my spiritual gift.” It’s something I’ve always done exceptionally well. Now I know and am deeply grateful that, because of Christ’s redemption, God no longer sees me as guilty. But I agonize over my past choices and actions and the negative consequences they brought. The list is long – and I won’t drag them out, but believe me when I say I’ve made some messes along the way. I’ve always seen them as derailments that knocked me completely off course. I imagine the path my life should have taken, and how I have altered that path so that God could not do what He intended in my life. Or have I?
Is God only in control of my life when I make all the right choices? Is His plan so fragile that I can destroy it with an ill-conceived mistake? Can it survive the careless actions of others in my life? Can He work within the craziness that is my life?
As I sit here today I have a small measure of wisdom that I didn’t have in my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. I am convinced to the marrow of my bones that God never lost control of my life, even when I turned in the wrong direction. He has never wrung His hands in heaven trying to figure out how to overcome my foolishness. I’ve seen Him take some of my biggest blunders and missteps and bring something good and positive and Joyful out of them. My life is not a haphazard crazy quilt of all my wrong choices, but a beautiful, if slightly eccentric design that God is still piecing together. I love David’s musing: “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with Joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). The path my life has taken has not always been easy nor straight and true, but God has never been caught off guard. I’m looking back at my life from farther down the road – now sixty years old – and I’m seeing that God’s good and gracious hand has been in it all along.