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God's Hand in our Lives PDF Print E-mail


“It is a tiny rosebud
A flower of God’s design,
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.


The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I,
The flower God opens so sweetly,
In my hands would fade and die.


If I cannot unfold a rosebud
This flower of God’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?


So I’ll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day,
And I’ll look to Him for His guidance
Every step of the pilgrim way.


For the pathway that lies before me
My heavenly Father knows,
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments
As He unfolds the rose.”


   In our poem above, the rosebud unfolds in the timing and with the delicate beauty that the Creator arranges for it. As human observers, we might desire to speed up that process and unfold those tender young petals ourselves. We are free to do this if we so desire; however, as is obvious, we would only spoil its beauty. The Creator purposed that the rose reveal its each and every petal at just the right time...and its beautiful form and perfume is the result, to the delight of millions.


   Yet how is it with us? Do we desire to show the beauty that is so obvious in the character of Christ? Do we want to unfold in our lives, and be a witness for God, just as the rosebud unfolds, and draws the mind to the Creator?


    We are God’s, first because He created us, through our parents, and second because He bought us back from Satan. Isa. 44:21; 43:1. As part of God’s household, He provides for us every daily moment. This continual care is given us whether we are obedient or disobedient—He loves us equally. Matt. 5:42-48. Every good thing, we have from the Father above. Jam. 1:17. Just like the rosebud, the beauty and perfume come forth as the petals unfold at the Creator’s touch. When we interfere with God, we spoil God’s plan, scarring His image in the world, as well as our own lives.


   Yet unlike the rose, we have been given an intelligent will, a choice in things that affect us. We are invited to come and check out what God is offering to do in our lives. Isa. 1:18. We may volunteer whether or not to be in God’s work, where the rose reveals its beauty through instinctive growth. And at every stage through life, everything with God is voluntary. Rev. 22:17. There is no binding contracts, no hidden fine-print. We are with God because we find Him a Friend and Saviour.


    As objects of God’s continual sustaining care, why is God’s work of beauty and growth on a different principle with us than it is in the rest of His creation? Let us examine more of His words in Scripture.


    “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10,11.


    “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19.


    Christ gave His disciples the above promise early in their discipleship. What does the apostle Peter give as the FIRST rung on the ladder of Christian discipleship? “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…” 2 Peter 1:5. Faith, the trust that leaves God to do what is His to do. Without this faith, it is not possible to please Him, to be in harmony with Him. Heb. 11:6. His Word itself is the means and power to accomplish the given improvement. That is His promise to all. If we can trust Him in that, then we have the blessing.


     But, I can hear you asking, isn’t there something I have to do in this work of improving my character and revealing Him to the world? It is certain that we do have a part, otherwise God would be disregarding the freedom of will He gave us. Yet to recognize our part, we must first understand the part God has in our improvement. You need not be overly concerned about keeping your end of the bargain, as though everything depended upon it. Your situation has been in His care long before you were conscious of it, and you will not be lost or neglected because you chose to cast your care back on Him. Paul counsels all fellow Christians: “Fight the good fight of FAITH…” 1 Tim. 6:12.


     The rosebud, unfolding petal by petal in delicate beauty, thus fulfills the purpose for which God created it—to point minds to Him and His love for us. In the same way, we fulfill our part in God’s work in the world. God is working on our hearts all the time, and as we respond to His promptings, our words and actions show that God is still spreading His healing balm in the world.


      Are we willing for God to save us? He will, if this arrangement of things pleases us. God is willing; for He has said so many times in Scripture. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Eze. 33:11.


      “A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:2-5.


      Salvation does not rest on our efforts. Rom. 10:1-3; Micah 6:6-8. God’s entire creation reveals His continual and all-powerful ability to sustain and produce. As part of that creation, are we to be left outside His common methods, and expected to have strength to lift ourselves to a level of greater improvement? Is there any creature or creation in God’s great universe that does not depend upon His hand for life and for growth? Then why may we not consider, that the plan of salvation, mapped out by the Father and the Son so long ago, is not devised after the same principle. Why may we not observe the budding rose bush, and have faith in God to do the same gentle work upon our own hearts.


Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.


Not the labours of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save and Thou alone.


Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.