“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
I am able to attest to the verse above. As an “old” man now, I am able to look back through MY time and see the hand of the Lord at work and I am so very thankful for the grace of my Lord and Savior. It would seem that the, “It’s all about ME” syndrome is so alive today because few ever look back and see the Lord’s hand in their lives. AMEN?
So many times in my life, the Lord watched out for me in my innocence. So many times HE was aware of the different avenues I COULD have gone down, but HE guided my thoughts change toward HIM. So to that end, praise the Lord for HIS grace and love. I could have been dead many times over! And I am so very sure, that you can do the same thing and see where HE has been working in your life as well.
Let me give you a small example: As I have related before, my dad was in the military for thirty plus years. I entered the military after high School and became a member of this exclusive club as well, however short it was for me. In many ways the military is a grueling, never ending, never softening—day after constant day…in your face…experience to be in!
In that way, I sort of hated it, especially being so far from home so many times, especially at certain times, like Christmas. It kills my heart to think back at all the tears we all shed when that song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (Bing Crosby) was played, especially during the war in ‘Nam. I know it broke my dad’s heart in World War II.
I remember two Christmases, where I was in the bush, eating (the first time) K rats, a little square meat covered in green preservative from a can, a can of crackers, a can of some sort of fruit, 4 cigarettes, 4 matches in paraffin, a P38 and gum! OH! I forgot the chocolate! Merry Christmas to me, I remember!
The second time was at an LZ (Landing Zone) somewhere, eating what they called an: “In-Flight Lunch”! It was a slightly stale ham and cheese sandwich, a small block of dried coffee, a packet of sugar, salt and pepper and of course water from my canteen. All I said then was, “I can’t believe this. Christmas and this is what we get?” Then someone, somewhere, played THAT song and I cried my eyes out! Just like the others around me. So much for War time, right?
As a military brat, we were living in Clark Air Base, Philippines and we had just moved into our new quarters on base, what they called a “barn.” These homes were huge, with screens everywhere! I had gone out back to play and I found a snake and it was very nice to me, so I decided to raise it. I named him, of all things considered, Charlie! Well in the beginning, I fed him bugs. He didn’t like it if the bugs were dead already, so I was literally forced to bring him live bugs and that was pretty awful for me.
So, as time went on Charlie began to grow and his diet had to change as well. He would hear me call him and he would rise from the grass and wave so to speak. In the end I was forced to bring him field mice and such, along with a small cup of clean water. He loved milk but it made him sick and he would throw up, so it was water from then on.
One day, my dad had seen me feeding my pet snake and when I came in, my dad wanted to talk with me about the snake. He told me he was very sorry, but the MPs were on their way to get the snake, it was against the military to have a pet snake. The MPs came out and shot my pet snake dead, because my snake was a cobra! Well….I didn’t know! I cried for a few days over it, never once aware that Charlie would be so dangerous for me to have, even though I loved Charlie dearly. Of course now days, I know the danger that was lurking in my backyard, not only for me, but anyone else that would venture into the back yard. I also know, the Lord was there each and every time, though I never knew it!
This speaks of the Lord and HIS wisdom despite of the fact that I didn’t know the Lord yet. He held back the normal desires and intuition of that deadly snake and taught me about love at the same time, How Incredible…is THAT? Even then, I was in the hands of my Lord. He had a plan for me, to someday become overwhelmed in HIS love for me and then to tell others, like you, of my life. Awesome God!
I can still see Charlie as I would softly call his name and he would rise from the foot tall grass and sway back and forth. I would tell him what I had for him to eat and then I would show him. Of course, Charlie was not versed in etiquette by any means and gulped the thing down whole. I on the other hand, was telling him to chew carefully, to prevent him from choking. Charlie at times would wrap around my leg or my arm, depending on which was closest and I believed Charlie loved me. What are the odds, Charlie never spit in my eyes to blind me, or even worse tried to bite me and kill me—as would be his nature? It was the Lord and that’s all I can come away from it with.
Now days I think in terms of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. The Lord controlled the lions, just as the Lord controlled Charlie. The Lord had a plan for my life, at some point in time, and HE did not want me to pay the usual payment of death as a child. How incredible is that? I’m sure you have had your own occurrences at some point in time, let me know what they were. I would love to hear your story.
How exceptional is it, that the Lord God cares for you and me, even in the midst of our own ignorance? The Word of God tells us that HE knew us before the foundation of the universe! It simply blows me away, every single time. Of course, I might add, HE does so and we only figure it out…in hindsight. I cannot think of a greater expression of HIS love for me, than for me to be “thinking back” and then notice that in my ignorance…HE Loved me and cared for me.
It takes your breath away, doesn’t it?!Of course it was always my mom’s response that made us kids sort of giggle, “Yee Gods and little fishes! WHAT…were you thinking?” I understood what she was saying, but “Yee Gods and little fishes?” What was up with that? Where on earth did she come up with that one? I will never know for sure, but suffice it to say, it was used way too many times in my youth. I will always remember those times and laugh (my you know what off) about it!
I praise my Lord for this story and so very many others like it. It was part of my life and the Lord gave it to me. At times, I hated my life. Looking back though, what would I be…IF…HE had never intervened, had never changed something, somewhere along the way?
Who would I be today?
Would I be saved as I am now?
I do not know the answers to those questions, but one day, very, very, soon my Lord and Savior, my Jesus Christ, my loving and generous GOD…will answer them. So on that note, those times, those days, have not ended just yet….there is more to come and I can barely contain myself.
Please tell me of your experiences, praise the Lord for the outcome and we’ll meet at the feet of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!