Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” How does God guide me when I have the power to choose my own way? If I have free will, how does He direct it by His hand?
Imagine for a moment that I have been in a wreck that has limited my mobility in virtually every way. I can’t move my arms or my legs, not very well; there is some nerve damage that will require intensive daily physical therapy. I need help in everything I do, just to live.
Imagine my therapist behind me, guiding me, as I put on my shirt, as I don my pants, as I reach with my fork to put food in my mouth. Imagine every moment of my life where I reach out in my strained disability to perform an act driven by my own volition, where I cannot move unless my therapist uses his hands on mine, to help me finish what I intended to do in my own free will.
I believe that is the intimacy shared between God and each of us. We may extend our hands to feed ourselves, but God is there, as our Therapist, intimately guiding us as we eat, since we do not have the strength to feed ourselves, or even to breathe. I believe He is involved in our every motion, our every thought, as we struggle through this life in our limited mobility.
I believe this illustration applies to decisions that we make regarding where we want to live, who we want to develop a friendship with, whom we should marry, what job we should take, and where we want to spend our eternity. We step out, feeble and breathless, struggling to decide how to determine our life, and how fearful our lives becomes when confronted with these decisions, or how fearful it is when we look back on the poor decisions we make. Even when we make decisions that damage our life, He is still our therapist, helping us to get back up again after our hard falls, to keep trying, for He loves us, and He will never abandon us (Joshua 1:5). He’s there, every step of the way help us strengthen and heal.
This brings me comfort. In my fallen state, I have suffered a wreck, as we all have. Left to my own immobile state, I would perish, because I would not be able to take care of myself. But God has saved me from my wreck. And He is with me now, as my Therapist, helping me heal, guiding me as I learn to walk again, breathe again, live again.
If we only remembered that God has His hand on us, so wrapped around us in ways so intimate that we could not possibly fathom them, then we would remember to rest in Him. This intimacy that we have with Him is the best part of life, to go hand-in-hand with our Creator, as we discover together, through His eyes and ours, how wonderful it is to grow and to heal.