Watch His hand!
(James Smith, "Direction For the Perplexed" 1865)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him — and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
This implies that God is always present with us, is willing to be consulted by us, and will surely attend to us.
This implies that our way is likely to be difficult, dark, and perplexing; a way in which we have never traveled before, and in which we are likely to be misled.
This implies that only way to be safe, to walk securely — is to seek Divine direction; and this God is willing to give — but He will have us ask it of Him. We are dependents — and we must realize our dependence. We are but children — and we must feel it, and act as under the impression of it.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him."
You have His Word — consult it; make it your counselor, your directory and your guide.
You have His promise — believe it; He says, "I will teach you and instruct you in the way which you shall go, I will guide you with My eye."
You have His throne of grace — flee to it, and plead with Him as a man pleads with his friend.
And, while you consult His Word, believe His promise, and pray for direction — watch His hand! Providence is God working; working to accomplish His purposes, to fulfill His promises, and to answer the prayers of His people.
In His Word — He speaks to us;
on His throne — He listens to us,
by His providence — He works for us, and those who keep their eye open — will be sure to see His hand.
While you watch His hand — seek grace to submit to His will. He wills to do you good, the greatest good; and if His will crosses yours, depend upon it — it is just because it is most for your benefit.
Gratefully acknowledge His favors as you receive them. Remember that, as sinful creatures, being criminals and traitors — we have no "rights".
Consequently, everything short of hell — is a mercy!
Everything but eternal punishment — is a favor!
How many favors and mercies you receive — and how few praises you render!
How many mercies are given you — and how few acknowledgments you make!
He who habitually . . .
consults God's holy Word,
believes His faithful promises,
pleads at His gracious throne for direction,
watches His working hand,
submits to His righteous will, and
gratefully acknowledges His sovereign favors —
will never be allowed to go far wrong, or to go wrong for long; for "He shall direct your steps!"