Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalm 77:19-20)
In our age of information technology we don’t like not knowing something. We feel we have a right to know everything. Isn’t that what Google and Wikipedia are for – the democratisation of knowledge? Everyone gets to know everything. Like Wikileaks. The idea that someone in authority has got secrets we don’t know leads us into deep suspicion. Often our attitude to God is the same. We don’t like the idea of Him doing things that are incomprehensible to us. Old hymns with words (actually based on this verse), “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform, He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm” don’t appeal to us much anymore. But God hasn’t changed His ways. He still moves in mysterious ways. As this verse says, His footprints are often unseen – even today. Sometimes we just can’t see where God is going. We have no idea what or why He is doing what He does. Often we find ourselves tempted to believe that just because we don’t know the reason why God does what He does, or allows what He allows, that must mean there isn’t a good reason! We may even second guess His love. But nowhere has God said He will tell us everything we want to know – in this life. God has not promised to give reasons for everything to us. However, none of this should make us worry. God can be trusted. The fact is, even though Israel did not know what God was doing or how He was going about things, He led His people like a flock to the promised land. Sheep don’t know where the Shepherd is going and most of the time he doesn’t tell them. But he is still the Shepherd and he knows best. We also have the privilege of looking back and seeing that God can be trusted. You can only see what God is doing in the rear-view mirror not through the windscreen. Or, to put it another way, God’s providence is like Hebrew: it can only be read backwards! When we look back we have a million ‘ah’ moments where, with the benefit of hindsight, we see clearly what God was doing. Best of all, we get to look back and see Jesus. We see how Jesus died for us and rose again for our justification. The God who gave up His only Son for us and secured our eternal bliss can be trusted with every other comparatively minor detail of our short lives on the way to that bliss. PRAY that God will help you to trust Him in the dark. Where God can’t be traced He must be trusted. One day you will see. He was right all along. It really was all for your best.