We love the idea of controlling our own destiny, don’t we? In some ways it epitomizes the American Spirit. We pride ourselves in being fiercely independent as American people. We cherish the idea of determining our own path, setting our own course in life. And no doubt this “rugged individualism” has been foundational to the greatness of America. “No governmental official is going to control me, this is America!” has been the heart-cry of many patriots over the years.
And while there are many good things about that mindset, we come to a verse today that should be a good reminder for us as believers. Psalm 31:15 reads, “My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” In the second half of this verse, we read a familiar prayer of David- that of God rescuing him from his enemies. It’s a prayer for God’s protection in his life. But take a second look at how this verse begins, “My times are in thy hand.”
Just five simple words, but what a sharp reminder they are. I can have great dreams and goals for my life. Economic or fitness goals, even good and Christ-centered goals for my own life or the life of my family. But in the end……my life is in Your hand. If God says I have 40 more years on this earth, then I have 40 more years. If God says it’s over, then it’s over! This is is the basis of David’s prayer for protection. It’s steeped in the acknowledgement that God has total control over my life and He alone knows the day when each of us will leave this earth. And while this is certainly not an excuse to live reckless with our lives, it should be a good reminder for each of us in this day and age of uncertainty to recognize He truly is the master of our lives. I love how Proverbs 16:9 sums up this idea, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”