When I feel afraid,
And think I've lost my way.
Still, You're there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near;
Please be near me to the end....
I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide,
And hold me to Your side,
And I will love you to the end. (Thy Word lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.)
If only I had held onto that from that day until now! (Sidebar: This next bit is probably going to sound like a rant--- and maybe it is to some degree--- but please, bear with me.) When I was younger (late teens/ early twenties), I was so clueless to how the world operates. I trusted everyone and everything. Maybe I even falsely believed that I was smarter and/or wiser than I actually was. And, this continued until I was somewhere around 30 years old. But in those 10-15 years, I made numerous bad choices! Horrendous! Infact, I am embarrassed--- no, mortified--- people knew me then!
The worst part, though, is I disobeyed God from age 20 to 29. I did not do things "by the book" nor was I in His word, everyday. I did what I wanted to do. And, boy did I mess things up, royally! I compare it to Abraham's wife Sarah not listening to what she had been told and coming up with her own bright idea to suggest Abraham have a child with her handmaiden. (The scriptures do not mention anything about Abraham disagreeing with that, saying, "No!", or stating it was not according to the law, etc.) Nor did I come across anyone who shot down my brilliant ideas...though I REALLY wish I had! In a nutshell, Sarah's foolishness was catastrophic! And, I do not feel I am too far behind her.
Every so often the question, "If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?" floats around on the Internet and/or social media sites. Man, oh man, would I give myself an ear full! The bottom line, however, would be to NEVER, EVER do anything that does not line up with God's word! EVER! It brings nothing but heart break, heartache, difficulty, strife, stress, trouble, drama, disarray, hatred, etc. And, I would have to be the one to tell me that because I would not listen to anyone else. I would say, "Well, I know me and I will not let that happen!" But, here's the kicker, there are multiple variables involved in any given situation. Just because I might be devoted to a certain outcome does not mean everyone (or everything else) will be, likewise. So, there is little peace. But God who sees all and knows all has what is best orchestrated for me. All the more reason to be still, follow His word, and do things according to His will rather than my own!
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.... Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."... "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. (John 14:15-17, 21, 23, 24 ESV)