Look up and allow God to correct your course

Published 5:16 pm Friday, June 24, 2016

It has happened to all of us, probably many times: “he got up on the wrong side of the bed today!” It is interesting how things can get out of kilter, dive into a tailspin, and enter a course that is hard to correct and seemingly impossible to recover from.

I recall one day last week when a few little things started to get my day off on the wrong foot. My usual early morning routine was pretty much routine, except time was running a little tight. As I got ready to grab the necessities for the day—breakfast and coffee—I heard my wife’s famous words: “O no!” It was then that she discovered that she had readied the coffee maker, but forgot to turn it on. As though that were not enough, I got up the road and realized that I had left outgoing mail on the table; there was no time to turn around and go back after it, so I had to keep traveling. To top off the excitement, when I got to the office and started to walk from my parking space toward the building I thought I heard a vehicle coming around the blind curve that I was walking in. I got to the side as quickly as I could only to see a car headed right toward me. Narrowly escaping tragedy, I continued on with my day not knowing what else to expect.

An idle coffee maker is no reason for a day to be spoiled—Gale quickly put together a mug of instant coffee for the morning commute; forgotten mail should not be allowed to ruin an otherwise good day; and anytime that an accident is avoided there is reason to rejoice. Song of Songs in the Old Testament mentions “the little foxes that ruin the vineyards” (2:15); sometimes little things can steal big joy from us. So how can we correct a course when it churns in the wrong direction and threatens to upset the whole day?

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There are a number of helpful bits of guidance that can be gleaned from Psalm 5 which can be applied on those days when things just aren’t going right. Verse 3 contains an example as the writer states, “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (New International Version). Another rendering of the latter part of verse 3 puts it this way: “I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.” (I heard that one person said that we sometimes get so low that we have to look up to pick butterbeans!) Looking up to God with sincere expectation–no matter how unpredictable the day might be–energizes, encourages, and enables us so that we can rise up above adversity and once again be strengthened by the joy of the Lord.

Whatever the writer of Psalm 5 was facing, it was not just a bad day, but a bad season in his life. Yet in the midst of it all, he understood the value of looking up to God with expectation—expectation of His intervention.

When those nagging obstacles of life begin to sidetrack our day, we face a choice. We can either allow them to push us deeper and deeper into despair, or we can call out to God and keep an earnest expectation that He will take care of us, correct our course, and allow us to sail in the direction of His choosing.

Look up and allow God to correct your course!