George Matheson, best known for the hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” wrote another song titled “Ignored Blessings,” in which he looks back to “the road gone by.” It was by looking back he could see that his heavenly Father had led him all the way.
God has an itinerary for each of us, a “course” that we must run (see Acts 20:24 and 2 Tim. 4:7). Our route is charted in the councils of heaven and rooted in the sovereign purposes of God.
Yet our choices are not irrelevant. We make decisions every day, large and small, some of which have life-altering consequences. The question—aside from the confounding mystery of God’s sovereignty and human choice—is this: How can we discern the course to be run?
The answer is clearer to me now that I’m older and have more of the past to look back on. By looking back, I see that God has led me all the way. I can truthfully say, “God has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (Gen. 48:15 NIV). Though clouds surround the present and I do not know what the future may hold, I have the assurance that the Shepherd will show me the way. My task is to follow Him in love and obedience, and trust each step to Him.
From the top of each rising hill
Let me cast my eye on the road gone by
To mark the steps of Thy will. —Matheson