“If it were possible
for me to alter
any part of His plan,
I could only spoil it.”
What an indelible way with words — here, a humble recognition of how utterly inadequate we are when left to our own devices. But, do we really believe it? Honestly, I’m inclined to say its full meaning is most clear to all the “old souls” out there (you know who you are), regardless of age who have walked through enough to personally own this truth. Paraphrasing Farmer’s Insurance – “You know a thing or two because you’ve seen a thing or two!” Right? I think John Newton was probably an old soul too.
Jerry Bridges said it like this: “… the Scriptures teach us three essential truths about God — truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. [I’d add here – if we are to trust Him at all!] They are: 1) God is completely sovereign; 2) God is infinite in wisdom, and 3) God is perfect in love. Someone has expressed these truths as they relate to us in this way: ‘God in His love always wills the best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.’” “God does not exercise His sovereignty capriciously but only in such a way as His infinite love deems best for us.” How wonderful is that?
So, from the man who wrote the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace”, today’s quote is a needed reminder that our Heavenly Father sees from beginning to end and knows what higher purpose everything that touches our life can serve – both the joy and the pain. Only as we experience His sovereignty, wisdom, and love in the details and events of life can we fully embrace this. Wish I could send Newton’s words in a letter back to my younger self.
Let’s desire to know without a doubt that His plan is perfect because it always has in view that we be “conformed to the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)
(This photo is of a bronze bust of John Newton in Buncrana, Ireland)