Our steps are made firm by the LORD,
when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the LORD holds us by the hand.
Have you ever made a wrong turn? I don’t mean a wrong turn in driving, but in your life? I can imagine that there are many, if not all of us, who have made our share of wrong turns. But I have been helped and encouraged by today’s scripture. These are the words of David of whom Scripture twice declares “a man after God’s own heart”(1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). David’s words are the testimony of a man who has lived much and done much, sinned greatly and been greatly forgiven.
In this Psalm 37, David pictures life as a journey, writing from the point of view of a man who has watched a generation come and go: “I have been young, and now am old” (Psalm 37:25). David has a lot of life under his belt. Now, as David looks back at his life and the lives of other believers, he is able to say: “though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong.” Why? Because “the LORD holds us by the hand.”
I thought of this scripture recently when I was driving and made a wrong turn. Fearing the worst in the heavy traffic, my GPS device amazingly recalculated my route and told me the next turn; the right turn! My ‘Inner Child’ was taken aback that my GPS did not scold me or shame me for the wrong turn, but simply showed me how to get back on the right road. And that is what God does in the lives of His children.
I like what Bible scholar J. Sidlow Baxter says about the wrong turns we might take in our lives:
“There is a compassionate adaptability about God’s will for us. Because we have not been in God’s special will for us from the beginning, there is no reason why we should not get into it now. He can take up from where we get it right.”(J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake My Heart).
There is not a mess we stumble into or a wrong turn we take, but that the grace of God meets us right where we are, and not where we ought to be.
In a psalm of confession David tells of some wrong turns and the Lord’s extravagant forgiveness and promise: “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go” (Psalm 32:8). Again and again David can say of the Lord, “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3).
If you have made a wrong turn in life and want the Lord’s direction, just ask Him! He loves you, His child, and is more than ready to help. He does restore our lives!
A fellow traveler,