Knowing God’s Will
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~ Thomas Merton
I took a class once on how to know God’s will. It was a large group and, as you might expect, there were a wide variety of views, varying from: You can’t - to God will tell you where to park your car if you’re listening. Scripture was cited supporting every possible position and the debate was lively and endless.
I’m not much of a debater. I won’t presume to tell you how you can know God’s will. I can only tell you what I know about myself which is not all that much, as it turns out.
I was a Psych major. You know the type. I was one of those people who was always drawing out other people’s feelings while tabling my own. I would have described myself as hugely introspective. I thought that I thought very deep thoughts.
Merton was right. I don’t really know myself and the fact that I think I’m following God’s will doesn’t necessarily mean that I am.
But, along with Merton, I do want to follow Him and I believe that the desire to please God, pleases God. And that’s grace, isn’t it?
And so is this: I also believe that He will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust Him always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for He is ever with me, and He will never leave me to face my perils alone.