Heading in the Direction of Providence

“Life draws us in different directions, sometimes simultaneously.  When you follow the direction that draws you in, if you stay in a very powerful state of mind, then you’ll see eternity.” – Frederick Lenz

Providence (Noun): The protective care of God – divine guidance or care.” – The Oxford Languages and Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” – Mandy Hale

All of us lead such different lives.  Within those vast differences lies one unique consistency: Each of us will encounter crossroads – intersections where we are required to choose which direction to take our lives. 

Do I stay in this marriage or leave?  Is this the right job offer to accept or should I keep the job I have now?  Do I let this friendship go or do I try my best to reconcile it?  Should I purchase this home, or should I consider moving to another place altogether?  Is this the right person to spend the rest of my life with?  What are the best choices I can make for my children right now?  Where should I invest my money?  Is this the right college to attend? 

What’s ironic is many of those pathway choices aren’t choices at all.  Events and circumstances pull us down roads we never wanted to travel in the first place.  A diagnosis, the death of a spouse, sudden job loss, or the accident-caused disability have a way of forcing us in directions that seem counter to our desires and what we deem as the best way forward.

This dichotomy within the realm of crossroads is a hard one to reconcile, yet even within what seems like a forced life direction lies a choice – that powerful state of mind that Lenz refers to above that keeps us centered in an eternal perspective – realizing that what seems like a wrong turn can lead us to exactly the right place as Mandy Hale suggests.

For some of us, the crossroads of life provide us with another dilemma:  Which direction leads me toward the fulfillment of God’s will for my life?  Even those forced life directions or pre-determined pathways come with questions:  How can this be God’s will for me now?

If you are at one of these crossroads today, I want to give you a different way of thinking about them – one that’s less uncertain and more precise.  These inevitable crossroads, whether the directions we head are forced or freely taken, are ALL HEADED in the direction of providence – even the wrong ones, the unjust ones, and the ones littered with confusion and uncertainty.  They are headed down a protective road of care and guidance – filled with grace and mercy.

Quite naturally, you might disagree.  Of course, there are RIGHT choices and directions and WRONG selections and pathways to take.  Our personal free agency or free will give us the ability to head any direction we choose.  Being human, we often choose wrongly and frequently without conscious thought or intent.  After all, God has given us His Word and Commandments – providing us with the resources we need to make the RIGHT choice.

But if we make the WRONG choice, are we still heading in the direction of providence?

Yes, my friend! 😊  No matter what direction we choose to take we will find God on that road – ever present with grace, love, and mercy when we need it most.  On any course or pathway, chosen or unchosen, decided wrongly either consciously or unconsciously or selected based on the highest levels of ethics and morality, is heading parallel and in concert with providence 😊

I’m not suggesting we choose the wrong pathway then with aloof malice or a form of senseless malevolence.  But what I am suggesting is that even when our humanness takes us down wrong pathways, even when we find ourselves on horrific roads that seem far, far away from the destination we desire, especially when we are traveling a direction that has been forced upon us against our will, we REMAIN heading the direction of providence.

“If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, ‘Here is the road. Follow it.’” – Isaiah 30:21 GNT

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle by the farthest sea, even there Your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast.” – Psalm 139: 9-10 BSB

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4 NLT

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20 NLT

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Are you facing a crossroad today – wondering which way to turn?  Is it a road you have no choice in traveling?  Are you concerned about making a choice or taking a pathway that leads you away from God’s will for your life?  Are you worried about the roads that your loved ones are traversing – knowing they are headed toward devastation and despair if they keep traveling down them?  Have you chosen a wrong road yourself and wonder if there is a way that can lead you back?

Take comfort today in knowing EACH ROAD is heading in the direction of providence.  Praise God he is with us every step we take!

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