Let me lay out a little absurdity for you here.
I have never been without some direction in my life. I have never wanted for employment when I desperately needed it. There has always been a bed for me to sleep in and a roof over that bed. Even though it’s not part of the package when I signed up to follow Jesus, He has provided for all of these things in every stage of my life.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I’ve been anxious lately. Panicky. One year from now, I’ll be headed out into the world with a piece of paper that says I’ve completed college, maybe even know something. Which world will I be headed into? What field of work will I apply for? Will I even have a job? Will I have three jobs? Will I live in my childhood bedroom? Will I live in Chicago? Will I actually escape the Midwest that I love so much (really, I do) for a warmer climate?
You get the idea. If you’ve ever graduated from anything, you can relate. If you’ve ever reached the end of something enormous, you can relate.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Sooooo, I’ve only been in school for the past sixteen years of my life. Now what?
You can tell I’m an anxious planner type because I’m still a year away from this and getting my stomach in knots about where and what and when and how much and with whom?
How much of this goodness and mercy can I count on? My fear isn’t that I’ll end up homeless or destitute, because it would have to be an act of God for all of my safety nets to fall. My fear is that I’ll be doing the wrong thing in the wrong place. What will make it wrong? If it isn’t the best.
Does goodness and mercy follow you if you misinterpret God’s will for your life? Does it follow you when you direct your steps through the valley of the shadow of death just because you weren’t totally sure which path to take, and this one looked bright at first?
I like that word, follow, but I’d rather do the following. I’d rather follow goodness and mercy, the Love that has lead me all the days of my life, into His house. Is it possible to want to follow so desperately and to get totally lost?
I’m putting my money in the bank account that says, “No, it isn’t possible to be incapable of following God into His plan for your life.”
I think that’s what the verse in Romans is for about God working everything out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. If I love God and am trying to follow Him, He honors that.
This one is mostly for me, to remind me that God cares more about where my heart is than that I’ve figured out His ten-step plan for me and am following it to the letter.