I’ve been reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s book The All-Sufficient God: Sermons on Isaiah 40 (reviewed by Richard John under the title A Spiritual Mars Bar!; definitely well worth reading). In the final chapter he mentions Anna L Waring‘s hymn.
I’ve often sung this hymn and thought it said or meant that God knew my way. But, of course, that was me putting myself at the centre of the universe, and making God merely my minder. Not that that’s not true. It’s just not what the hymn is saying. God knows his own way! And while both ideas are true and biblical, Anna Waring’s idea is the more glorious and comforting.
It’s certainly comforting to know God has his eye on me 24/7/365. It’s also good to know God’s leading and guiding in life. But sometimes even the guide can become unsure or uncertain of the path.
I remember taking a group of teenage boys on a hike in the mountains one weekend. Things were fine when we started. We had food, maps, compasses, torches/flashlights, wet weather gear, boots, etc. But just as we approached the final summit, the clouds descended and we became thoroughly disoriented. I’d been along those tracks before and since, but somehow I thought we were further along the trail than we were. So, thinking it more prudent to descend than continue, I started down what I thought was the path. It certainly looked like it when we started, but it was a valley too soon, and rapidly became treacherous. We were able to descend safely, but I was a guide who no longer knew the path he took.
What a blessing and a comfort that God is not that sort of guide. He knows the way he taketh.