In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Caden, a young man of almost eighteen, was anticipating attending his first choice of a college on an academic scholarship. He was involved in a campus ministry in high school and looked forward to participating in a similar ministry in the new environment. He’d saved money from his part-time job and also had an excellent lead on a new job. He’d established some great goals, and everything was coming together exactly on schedule.
And then in the spring of 2020 a global health crisis changed everything.
The school let Caden know that his first semester would probably be online. The campus ministry was on hiatus. The job prospect dried up when the business closed. As he despaired, his buddy glibly quoted words from a well-known professional boxer: “Yeah, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Proverbs 16 tells us that when we commit all we do to God, He’ll establish our plans and work things out according to His will (vv. 3–4). True commitment, however, can be difficult. It involves an open heart to God’s direction, along with a willingness to resist charting our course independently (v. 9; 19:21).
Dreams that don’t come to fruition can bring disappointment, but our limited vision for the future can never compete with God’s all-knowing ways. As we yield ourselves to Him, we can be certain that He’s still lovingly directing our steps even when we don’t see the path ahead (16:9).
What disappointment changed your plans for the future? What can you do to seek God’s guidance today?
Loving and wise Father, help me to trust You even in my disappointments knowing that You’re a good and faithful God and You’ll establish my steps.
The book of Proverbs stresses honoring God in whatever we do. One phrase that parallels this sentiment is “the fear of the Lord” (16:6), which speaks of profound reverence and respect for God. Such awe, honor, and deference should be reserved uniquely for Him as Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Lord over all. The personal and corporate value of possessing this essential quality is noted throughout the Proverbs. The fear of the Lord is foundational for wise living (1:7; 9:10); it’s something that can be chosen (1:29); possessing it prolongs one’s life (10:27); and its value is greater than material wealth (15:16). Those who are guided by the fear of the Lord protect themselves from evil (16:6; 19:23) and have everything they need (10:3).
Visit ChristianUniversity.org/bookofproverbs to learn more about the book of Proverbs.