I was listening to this hymn today in my car (I love those traditional Sunday morning hymns I grew up on in my Granddaddy's church) - and really started thinking about the words. That's one of the great things my grandfather taught me - to really think about the words I was singing...not just sing them. So before I go any further, here's the words:
HE LEADETH ME
He leadeth me, O blessèd thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
We have some friends who are facing what the last stanza talks about. Jason Weathers, who is in his 30's, discovered this past January that he has leukemia. He has been in and out of the hospital fighting this disease since then & is losing the fight. He has been unresponsive for several days now and the doctors say there is no brain activity. The family made the heart-wrenching decision to take him off the ventilator today & last I heard, he's still breathing on his own. While we are still holding on to that tiniest thin shred of hope that God will perform a miracle and restore Jason's body to complete health here on earth, all signs seem to point to the fact that God plans to instead give Jason perfect healing in Heaven. Please keep this family in your prayers. Jason and his wife Stephanie have 3 beautiful children - their youngest was born during all this. We don't know what God's plan is in all this, but we do know He has one. If you feel so inclined, you can read their story at:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jasonweathers Here's a picture of their family:
When I think about the struggles they have been through over the last few months, and now the very real possibility that these children will grow up without their father, I'm awed at the faith that this family continues to show in their posts on his Caring Bridge site. It is just further proof that our God is an AWESOME GOD! Even when things aren't as we'd like them, they are exactly as He has planned for us - and even when we don't agree in the moment, His plan is so much better than anything we could come up with!
It was not my plan to wait until I was 33 to get married. It was not my plan to struggle with infertility. It was certainly not my plan to finally conceive a child after 5+ years of trying, only to lose that child to a miscarriage. But, it WAS God's plan! If I hadn't waited until I was 33, I might never have married David - and wouldn't have the awesome blessing that marriage has brought to my life! If I hadn't struggled with infertility (and worse yet, suffered the cruel remarks of an insensitive fertility doctor), we wouldn't have the blessing of adopting our precious Christopher & the joy he brings to our lives. If I hadn't had the miscarriage, I would not have been blessed by so many women sharing their own stories of miscarriage with me and how God blessed them through it. I'm sure God's not done with that one yet...can't wait to see where He's leading! :)
Tonight in our BLG class, Bruce asked each of us to tell what awed us. David and I both picked Christopher. David focused on how Christopher sees the world and just watching him grow up. Mine is how God orchestrated every event in our lives (yes, even the horrible ugly ones) to bring us to the exact point and place where we needed to be so that He could give Christopher to us!
So, as the Hymn of the Day says, "What 'ere I do, where e're I go, still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me." And I'm so glad He does. I'm so glad He didn't listen to my plan - but leads me step by step through the perfect plan He has for me! I can't wait to see just where the next steps will lead! May God bless you today in a mighty way!
***Edited 7/14/08 - Jason went home to be with the Lord Saturday. Jason and his family love God - they are a testamony to what a real Christian family is like! I'm certain Jason heard that phrase we all long to hear from our Father in Heaven, "Well done, My good and faithful servant!"