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Directing My Path

Recently challenged to give a testimony/devotional during staff meeting on a favorite or meaningful Bible verse, I discovered that I can’t really pick a favorite verse…I have different go-to verses for different situations. The above wouldn’t normally even make the cut as a favorite but I used it because it is the verse that has been a part of my life for the longest time.

The plaque pictured has been hanging on my wall since the third grade. I won it for memorizing the most Bible verses in a summer group called “Good News Club” that some kindly ladies ran for kids in my apartment complex.

In considering this verse in light of a devotional, I began to wonder why God would have this be the one verse that was in front of me for the bulk of my life? Somehow that plaster plaque has survived multiple moves, college, graduate school and the years I was a devout non-believer. It has always hung on my wall in whatever apartment, dorm room or house I was living in. Why did this plaque matter so much to me when God didn’t? When I won the plaque, I was already being asked to bear heavy burdens that most 8 year olds didn’t have to bear. So why this verse in all those difficult times? Why not the "peace that surpasses all understanding" or "he will be there through all the fires" or some other seemingly more relevant verse to my circumstances??

Now I know God was thinking long term…not just something for the moment. God knew how independent I was going to be. I was forced to be independent far too young and I desperately clung to that independence as I got older. It has always been about me.

When I think about this verse now, as a maturing believer, it gives me great comfort to know that from the beginning of my life, he knew me. He wouldn’t have put this particular verse in my life if he didn’t already know I was going to need it in my face, on my wall, day after day, year after year for the rest of my life. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know him. He knew me. I’ve always found comfort in knowing that he knew me before I was formed, but the way this verse has been in my life proves that to me without a shadow of a doubt.

These days, I am always repenting of my independence idolatry. The crazy thing is, if I wasn’t a Christian, I would be applauded for it. Today's society is all about independence! However, I’ve had this plaque in my face telling me something different for years and years. Quietly preaching to me from my wall…quietly just there waiting for me to acknowledge it. To acknowledge him. He knew my sinful pride long before it began to rear its ugly head. For “your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139: 16)

Today it’s a discipline to ask for a spirit of humility and then yield to his will. I am freer to serve him, to receive him and to recognize the work he began in me before I was even conceived. Praise, and thanks be to God. 

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