Friday, January 3, 2014

When “the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.”

“Today dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown.
... Who can tell what we shall find?
What new experiences, what challenges shall come,
what new needs shall arise?”
(Mrs. Charles Cowman, Streams in the Desert)

What will happen during 2014? You don’t know. I don’t know.

“The unknown.” What do those words do to you?

“The unknown” creates strong emotions for me when those two words inflict themselves on my life, my future.

When I come face-to-face with “the unknown,” my stomach knots. My knees wobble.


Because, like Mrs. Cowman said, I don’t know what I’ll find, and I don’t know how challenging the challenges will be, and I don’t know how serious the needs will be.

Over and under and around it all, I wonder if I will handle them well.

I wonder if I will come out okay on the other side of them.

What about you?

What if, in 2014, you learn that “the unknown” turns out to be God asking you to do something that seems too hard? 

What if “the unknown,” once known, is something that breaks your heart? 

Or something that means the end of life-long dreams? 

Or what if you suddenly have a crucial need? 

What if the challenges of 2014 threaten to overwhelm you?

What if God asks you to be your “utmost for Him”?

At such moments, we stand at a turning point. We are at a defining moment. We can say yes to God, take hold of His hand, and step into that potentially painful, frightful “unknown.”

Or we can tell God no, turn away, and try to slog through life on our own terms.

The choice is ours.

“… Before we choose to follow God’s will,
a crisis must develop in our lives.…
He brings us to the place where He asks us
to be our utmost for Him
and we begin to debate.
He then providentially produces a crisis
where we have to decide—for or against.
That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives.”
Oswald Chambers (emphasis mine)

Abraham has been a special hero to me for quite a few years now.

Here’s why:

God made a staggering request of him: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Sounds like what missionaries do, doesn’t it?)

God didn’t tell Abraham where he was supposed to go—only that he was to go (Genesis 12:1). He was asking Abraham to be his utmost for Him.

So there he stood, at a critical turning point in his life. 

Who knows how long Abraham debated with himself and with God as he stood at his crossroads? He must have agonized.

But, bless his heart, at his defining moment, Abraham agreed to go where God sent him even though he did not know where he was going.

The book of Hebrews summed up Abraham’s pivotal moment this way: “Abraham, by faith, obeyed and went out, even though he did not know where he was going” (11:8).

He set out, simply trusting God. Talk about a blind leap of faith!

Perhaps today you stand at a crossroads and you’re debating whether to “go out” as God is asking you.  If not today, maybe a week from now, or ten months from now.

During 2014, when you face as-yet-unknown challenges and needs,

when your stomach knots and your knees wobble, 

when you don’t know where God is leading you,

may the following words inspire and encourage you:

The only thing you know
is that God knows what He is doing.
Continually examine your attitude toward God
to see if you are willing to ‘go out’
in every area of your life,
trusting in God entirely.…
You don’t know what God is going to do next.
Each morning … is a new opportunity
to ‘go out’ building your confidence in God.”  
(Oswald Chambers)

Trust only.
The Father comes near to take our hand
and lead us on our way today.
It shall be a good, a blessed new year!
(Mrs. Charles Cowman, Streams in the Desert)


  1. So true these words ring. I've put 2013 behind me and I hope and pray for a better 2014. At least one that God and I can handle and moments of joy to share. I wish the same for you. Blessings. xx

  2. Penny, you are always so encouraging with your words. Thank you. Bless your heart. In 2014, may you find many moments to enjoy God's love and peace and joy and hope. You are very special


  3. Such a great word and very timely based on something my family is going through. Thank you!

    1. Ah, Rachel, I always enjoy hearing from you and following you on Facebook. What a lot of adventures you and Clarence and God have had together for the past couple of years, and now 2014 holds numerous changes and adventures. Bless you, sweet fried. Thanks for keeping in touch.