A couple of weeks ago my husband told me in a letter that he’d been reading a Proverbs a day and asked me to read Proverbs “with” him. He shared the verse that spoke to him the most from the chapter he had read that day and I decided to do the same in my next letter.
I was consistent with reading in Proverbs for about 10 days. I’m very good at sticking with things.
I moved over to Thessalonians after a verse I saw in a meme (Did you say “meh-may”? Or “meem”, because, it’s important that you’re reading how I’m writing ;))…that was the end of my sticking to our plan to read together for
a few several days. Ok. Almost two weeks.
Until I got his next letter and
realized I was going to need a verse to write back to him and it probably couldn’t be the chapter after the last one I sent because it’s been two weeks really liked his verse and what he said about it.
That was two days ago. I have read a chapter every night and every morning. Because
I needed to catch up I am nothing if not an over achiever.
Also, I would like to get right to Proverbs 31 and just stay in that chapter for a few letters so I can
remind him what an awesome wife he has humbly work on the areas I need to work on.
There may also be the slightest possibility that I am struggling a little with the whole wives submit to your husbands thing, but that’s another post…
This morning, as I was reading in Proverbs 20,
and frantically trying to find a good verse because I needed to write to him today I paused on several verses that could have been the one, then I got to verse 24. I have been reading in the NLT, so that’s the first verse I read.
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way. (Proverbs 20:24, NLT)
Why try to understand everything along the way? Well. Because my analytical, I need all of this to make sense and now please, mind likes things that way.
Then I flipped over to the Message (and by flipped, I mean clicked a drop down on my app…the Bible is the only book I prefer reading on my phone, because I can flip to all the versions) and read this:
The very steps we take come from God, otherwise how would we know where we’re going? (Proverbs 20:24, the Message)
How would we know where we’re going? Well, I think about it, make up 472 different scenarios in my head, anticipate all kinds of outcomes, pro’s and cons, and when I finally decide where to go, what to do, which decision to make, the only scenario that I didn’t consider happens.
I think I need yet another version of this verse to get what I’m supposed to learn from this verse, so I flip over to the NIV…
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? (Proverbs 20:24, NIV)
For the past several months, I have been constantly asking why. I wanted to understand why God would allow this to happen again. What had I done so wrong that He would let my husband relapse. Again. Trying to pin point the sin that had put us in this place. Again.
I was sure it was sin. My sin. I was being punished for something I’d done or hadn’t done. On the surface, to other people…I blamed my husband. But in the quiet darkness of my heart, I blamed myself.
I was gone too much. I expected too much of him. I put work before him and our family. I let him go camping. I didn’t look hard enough for the signs he might be struggling again because if I didn’t talk about it, it wasn’t happening.
Then slowly, over the last few months, something changed. I gave up the anger, the blame, the pitying myself. I stopped trying to find the why and started trusting God again.
I realized I don’t need to know why…or how…or when…or what if…
All of the worrying about those things…it was wearing me down…stealing any joy God had for me.
I was spending every waking moment trying to out plan God. If I do this, then this happens. If I ask Him for this, then I can live with that. If only God would do this for me, I would be okay with this…
Only…you can’t out plan God. You can’t even imagine the great things He has for you. And limiting Him to your plans sometimes leads to you not being able to receive all of the bigger, better, unimaginable gifts He has in store for you.
It’s okay to not know where God is guiding your next, unseen for now, step. It’s okay to not know why this is where you are in life. It’s okay to not know how the struggle you’re going through is actually God directing your path.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9, NLT