‘Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”’ Isaiah 30:21 NIV
One of England’s finest preachers decided because of his wife’s failing health not to go to America and speak at an important conference. Although he’d purchased his ticket, the ship sailed without him, and J. Stuart Holden missed a golden opportunity in the prime of his preaching career. A devoted husband, he gave himself to caring for his wife and tried not think of what he was missing on the other side of the Atlantic. The truth is we’re too easily disappointed when our plans fall through; too easily discouraged when ‘great career opportunities’ are missed, and our complaining proves that we don’t know God like we say we do. Delay is often the protective hand of our heavenly Father. It certainly was for Holden, who resolved never again to question God’s timing. Why? Because the unused ticket he held reserved his passage on the new ‘unsinkable’ luxury liner—RMS Titanic. There’s so much talk in the Church today about self-help, that God’s providence and guidance is seldom mentioned. But the bottom line is we don’t decide God’s plan for our lives, we discover it. Much of the time we don’t understand how He leads us, and it’s only in retrospect that we see His hand at work. Paul wrote, ‘When I go to Spain… I hope to visit you.’ (Romans 15:24 NIV) But, as far as we can know for sure, he never made it; instead he ended up in prison. But it was from there that he wrote the Epistles. So here’s the question: if you really believe God is directing your steps—why are you questioning, doubting, and complaining?