What a mirror taught me about God’s plan

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

“O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me…Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken], Behold, O Lord, You know it all…Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.” Psalm 139: 1, 4, 7-8 (Amplified Bible) 

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn by John H. Sammis)

I was at a men’s conference retreat in Virginia not too long ago. God ministered to my heart in quite a deep way. On Saturday morning of this retreat, our Bible study leader had challenged us to get outside by ourselves and talk with God. This alone time with God was much needed, and I ventured out on my own to hear what He had to say to me next.

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As I journeyed along a gravel trail, I came to one of those circular street mirrors often used at sharp turns and corners where you would not be able to see the other side of the street or oncoming traffic or pedestrians otherwise. Living in the mountains, I have seen these a number of times, but it was at this specific mirror that I could feel the Spirit of God ministering to me. It was in that moment that God reminded me that whatever was ahead of me in my life, He was already there. 

I struggle with not knowing what’s ahead. I feel like that I have to have a plan. I get impatient when I don’t have the next step. I don’t like to leave things undone, and I cannot “wing it.” I like a detailed plan, and I have a hard time working with people who just “go with the flow.” And heaven forbid that I have no clue as to what is coming next. I absolutely hate to be blindsided by something I wasn’t wanting or expecting. I guess what you could say of me is that I have a trust and control issue.

That’s what God showed me through that roadside mirror, but also in the mirror of His Word. What He shared with me that day is that my life isn’t like that mirror at all. My ways, will, and wants often don’t parallel with His (Isaiah 55:8). What I may have planned may not at all be what God has planned, but just know that His plans are way better than our own. God loves details, too. God has a mighty Kingdom plan/agenda that He is fulfilling in the heavens and on the earth right now (Matthew 28:19-20), but the truth is He doesn’t always give you the full, detailed plan at once. He doesn’t even have to give you reason as to why things happen the way they do in life.

It is very possible that as you read this article today, you are in the middle of a plan that you didn’t write. You didn’t see the oncoming traffic in the mirror, and you’ve been hit pretty hard by life’s circumstances. You may have had a doctor’s appointment and received news that you weren’t expecting. It’s possible that you just found out that you don’t have a job after the end of this month. You may be going through a painful season in your family. You may have just received word that a close friend or family member has died. I think you get the point. We have very little control over what lies ahead in our life. 

But can I encourage you today in knowing that while we may not see what’s on the other side, God does? He’s already there. He knows the details, He holds the future, and He will reveal what He’s doing one step at a time.

After thinking about what I experienced at the mirror that day, I found comfort in God’s Word. David wrote in Psalm 139:4: “You know it altogether.” I left from there that afternoon with one of the greatest senses of relief and peace that I have ever felt. I left with confidence knowing that while I may not know what’s ahead of me years, months, weeks or even hours from now, I can be sure that God will give me the next step.

And the next step is all He’s asking me to take in faith. The mirror that I looked into wasn’t about me at all. It was about God. I don’t have to see what’s on the other side all of the time to know that He does. Take comfort in God’s Word today in whatever you’re going through. He’s already there.  

Rev. Peter McDonald is the Senior Pastor of Midway Baptist Church in Columbus, N.C. (www.mwbaptist.org)