In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.
This morning was a morning like any other as of late. Well, except that Thursdays are the day I head over to my daughter’s school. The rain coming down in a slow drizzle. The windshield wipers captivate me with their whip- hum-wap, whip-hum-wap, whip-hum-wap, as I ponder and drive the road that leads me there. Everything seems so slow. I mean, really s. l. o .w. in my life, at this time. After all, I am captivated by windshield wipers, really, one has to wonder.
Yet, as I turn the corner I am suddenly aware of my speed, and the four fragile silhouettes ahead of me, clearly children, I see as I close in on them. My foot has already automatically lifted off the gas pedal.
Pausing without a thought.
Slowing down in recognition of the power and potential behind the wheel I hold.
Automatically, in light of the presence of smallness and vulnerability.
I didn’t need to think about it, it was a natural response to what was before me in light of who I am.
Mother’s recognize the preciousness of children.
Mother’s proceed with caution and careful consideration, when approaching children.
Mother’s seek not to harm children.
Within me beats the heart of a mother.
I was not speeding, but still, I recognized within me the sense to proceed with caution.
Aware that even in one child’s impulsiveness, they could be before me.
Before me, behind the wheel.
In a moment.
Safe passing and stop lights away from the scene of the potential catastrophe, I wonder.
What happens in these moments
when God seems to have pressed the pause button.
I go through the days, and wonder what he is doing.
What is He working in me that I am unaware of at this time?
What is going on behind the scenes?
What potential problem is He keeping me from?
What blessing awaits me on the other side of this holding place?
I think of Joseph, and wonder if he thought God forgot Him.
If he grumbled and complained that he had been treated unfairly.
I wonder what he thought when God pressed pause in his life.
In the quiet moments, alone.
Abandoned by all.
Betrayed by those who should have stood by him.
Cast into a pit.
In the dark.
Sold off, written off, left behind.
I wonder about those moments.
I wonder, when he was falsely accused, and sat in a prison.
In the hours.
When time ticked on…slowly.
Waiting. Still. For justice and truth to be revealed.
For God to work in His own time.
Did he wonder what God was doing, then?
Did he cry out in the darkness and wonder if God heard Him,
or whether He really cared? Did he doubt?
Did He shake his fist at God in the dark?
Did he muffle his cries in the nook of his arm and yet still cry himself to sleep?
Did he count away the minutes awaiting justice in quiet trust ?
Did Joseph trust that God would work it all out in the end?
For his good.
For His purpose.
It is in the seconds, minutes and hours I sense the Lord calling me closer.
I sense Him in the pause.
I am not sure what is coming.
I am learning to trust that His pause is not without purpose.
That even as I gave pause at the sight of strangers who were not my children out of reverence for the precious lives of all children, God himself is loving me, his own daughter well when he allows, ordains and chooses the specific circumstances of my life.
I may not understand the why, but I can know, trust and believe in the One who
In the end, may we be able to say with Joseph toward any of our circumstances or perceived enemies:
“You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good…”
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9