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Broken Paths Made Straight

by Sis. Rachel Chan

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:6

I recently accompanied my daughter to a wedding out of state. It was during this trip that I was asked to write for Pursuing Virtue. This took me completely by surprise and I became speechless. However, I can’t explain the odd feeling of serenity that I felt. After a moment of silence, she slowly asked, “Mom, will you? Are you okay with that?” I’m sure she half expected me to say, “No, I can’t,” for she knows me well. Not only does she know me, BUT God knows me. Before my insecurities could surface and cause me to panic for accepting the challenge, the Lord began to intervene. Ever so softly these words sounded in my ears, “Lean not to thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge me and I shall direct thy path.” I immediately knew that I had to walk through this opened door.

In life, we face circumstances or situations where the outcome or its effect on us, depends solely upon our response. Just among the readers of this article, we could list many diverse challenges that we have experienced. We would have a mix of desirable and undesirable outcomes, based on our response to the given situation. Many times we are not responsible for what has been dealt to us, but we are responsible for the way we respond.

In my personal life, I have faced circumstances that were beyond my control and comprehension. While some caused a temporarily negative impact on my life, others didn’t. If I can be transparent for a moment, I would like to briefly mention three situations, my response and their outcome.

At a very young age, my parents divorced and I was raised in a broken home. I spent years of my life trying to understand why this happened to me. As a result, I went into a very dark place feeling unloved, unwanted, undeserving of love which led to developing low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. I would pray above these feelings for a while, just to have them resurface without warning. It was a very long road before I finally relinquished ALL my questions and lack of understanding to the Lord. It was then that I noticed those undesired feelings slowly began to fade. 

Several years later, a very unfathomable, devastating, heart wrenching, unacceptable situation came to my family. Without elaborating, this filled me with anger, hate, bitterness, and even a desire for the death of the responsible party.  In many ways to me, the severity of this situation superseded the one above. Oh how thankful I am that through each trial and valley, there is growth. You see, this time I gave the situation to God and found deliverance from those feelings easier than the first one. I am thankful for healing and restoration in both circumstances.

Some will be familiar with this one and I’ll try to keep it brief. Eight years later, my daughter was involved in a near fatal accident, sustaining a traumatic brain injury. The news came to us following a morning service of camp meeting. Stepping into the ambulance, I placed my baby girl fully in the hands of Almighty God, as she drifted in and out of consciousness. Within myself, I had never felt so helpless. I knew I had to FULLY trust God and lean not to my understanding. Yes, I am a nurse and understood the severity of this situation, BUT I also understood the Faithfulness of my God. I had peace knowing He was in control, regardless of the outcome.

When I learned she was intubated before being life flighted, my faith wavered not. When I witnessed her mangled, bloody body on life support and survival was not promised, my faith wavered not. When the level of cognition recovery was uncertain and day after day, I taught her acceptable and non-acceptable behavior, my faith wavered not.  When I felt my heart would stop as she asked, “Are you really my mom?” followed by days of “Tell me something only my mom would know,” my faith wavered not. I’m sure you get the picture and can see the difference in my response to this situation. Not one time did I rely on my understanding.

I trusted God every moment and acknowledged Him. Guess what? He kept His promise!

Without Him, Brittney would not be where she is today. 

Psalms 2:12 reminds us that “… Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him”. Some situations may be too hard or painful to share with anyone. I don't know what circumstance or situation you may be facing. It may be a broken relationship, loss of a job, death of a spouse or family member, a family conflict or even a church conflict. Perhaps it could be financial distress, physical/mental illness or emotional problems. It could very likely just be the stress of everyday life. 

Whatever it may be, there is a solution that can work all things for your good and give you peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Proverbs 16:20 “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he”. 

Proverbs 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walked wisely, he shall be delivered”. 

“How can I walk and handle matters wisely?” you may ask and I’m glad you did. The answer is found in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” this takes total commitment to God and His Word. The more we study, the more we learn of His grace and mercy, the more we will trust Him.  “… and lean not unto thine own understanding” we lean on something for support. If we compare our understanding to a cane that cannot bear our weight, we’ll see the danger in leaning on our understanding. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him…” we are to seek His guidance, in every aspect of our life.  We can acknowledge Him through thankfulness, obedience and submission.  “… and He shall direct thy paths” a powerful promise that God will make straight our path, removing obstacles from our lives. He will be in control, leading us in the center of His perfect will.

My friend, if God can take my mixed up, broken life and put me where He has today, He can do the same for you. He is no respecter of persons. Trust Him, lean not on your understanding, acknowledge Him and He SHALL direct your path.

Love and prayers,                                                                                                                                               Sis. Rachel Chan

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