Means to an End.
Something I learned this week about God is so basic but it’s application has been such a revelation of peace to me. We all know that God is a planner. He has written the beginning and the end of the story. He is even referred to as the “Alpha and Omega” (beginning and end). Like many Christians I know, I do not struggle with accepting that truth. In my head I also don’t struggle with knowing that he has planned the in-between…. but I almost NEVER live like I hold to that truth.
So many times we hear statements of comfort in the midst of trial, statements said to us that sound something like “it’s all in His hands” or “it’s God’s plan”. For me, if I were honest, that provides very little comfort… but it should, right?
Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, addresses this in the first several verses of the letter. It is fast and it can be missed among the many things Paul addresses in the letter. His quick reminder in Philippians 1:3-6 Paul says he joyfully prays for a church people that partners with him in the gospel message and he is SURE because He who began a good work in "them" will be faithful to complete it. For me, I know that God began a good work and I know in my head He will complete it. My struggle is the in-between.
I was listening to an old Caedmon’s Call song that Derek Webb wrote. In the song, he is lamenting finding love. The line that really hit me and got me thinking (having nothing to do with the song) was a line that says “And You can’t plan the end and not plan the means…”. So so often I forget this. I forget that God is not only Alpha and He is not only Omega, he is every letter in between. He has planned the means.
Proverbs 3:5-6 really nails this process:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
While we naturally fall back on leaning on our own understanding, there is GREAT wisdom in having faith that the decisions we are making are made straight by the Lord. There is GREAT peace in knowing that even when I severely mess up, that I am not making my paths straight He is… I am incapable! My understanding is limited. I have not seen the end, I do not even know the means! I only "see through a glass dimly" like Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 13:12.
My God has planned the end and the means!
Soli Deo Gloria