Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Acts 26:32 (NLT)
There is mysterious union of our choices and God’s divine purposes. We make decisions that determine our steps. God weaves His plan in, through and around those decisions to direct our ultimate path. I don’t pretend to understand it, but marvel to see it at work in my own journey and those with whom I share it.
In 2004 amidst the throes of a long-troubled marriage and two daughters entering adolescence I chose to take the step of uprooting the family and moving to Pella. The thought of moving to and living in Pella had never been on my radar. It was not my idea, but I chose in. It was my decision. Within a few years I would find my marriage over. I would meet and marry Wendy. The girls would graduate and step out onto their own individual paths. I made choices without any comprehension just where the path would lead. I can play the “what if” game as long as I want to, but it is a waste of time and mental energy. Those who know me best and have journeyed with me the longest will testify to witnessing God’s divine purpose in the circuitous trail on which my choices led. I look back on the past eight years and scratch my head as I perceive the eternal mystery of the intersection of my temporal choices and God’s divine purposes.
In today’s chapter we learn that Paul could have been free had he not appealed to Caesar, but he did appeal to Caesar. Paul will go to Rome in chains and continue to proclaim God’s Message there. Did God want Paul free, or did God want Paul in Rome? How does God’s omniscience and eternal purposes intersect with Paul’s finite thought, human emotions and earthbound motivations?
Today, I’m praying for wisdom in choosing my steps, and gratefully trusting God with the direction of my path.