Psalm 32:8 "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'"
These are comforting words… but I struggle sometimes to trust them completely. If you're like me, some days you'll lose sleep with worry about God's plans for you life. How do I know what God wants me to do? What if God's plans are unknown to me? I want to be in God's will… but how do I know what his will is?
Well, clearly I don't want to try to go my own way and try to force a direction for myself. The next verse, Psalm 32:9 says: "Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." So if God is going to be sitting on me (I imagine from the metaphor!), clearly I don't want to resist his will and need to be subdued and controlled by him. I would rather submit myself to his direction and be free by cooperating with him. I would rather aim to naturally go where he wants to go and do what he wants me to do.
These verses, 8-9, come near the end of a reflection from David. He has sinned. He has held in his sin and tried to run his own life. And ultimately he was "miserable." He was "weak" and he "groaned all day long. Day and night," David says, the Lord's "hand of discipline was heavy" upon him. Eventually he lost his strength to continue on his own. Finally, he says, he "confessed all" his sins to God and stopped trying to hide them.
The great news for David is that "unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the Lord." Those who follow the Lord have joy. They live in confidence because of their openness and honesty with God. Those who follow the Lord can rejoice because their hearts are pure.
So while the details of the future plans God has may not be always laid out fully before our eyes, the overall scheme for our heart and soul is. Obey God. Trust God. Love God. Today, my goal, is to rest in this truth. I resolve today to put aside my worried stomach, to put aside my own seizure of control, to put aside my worry and to put aside the weight of my sin and burdens. Today, I resolve to be open with God. To tell him my fears and failings. And then to listen for his voice and to trust in his will.
Now I can breathe more deeply.