The Great Helmsman

Years ago, the Chinese Communists used to call their leader, Mao Tse-Tung, “The Great Helmsman”.

The idea was that Mao was like a ship captain, guiding the ship China through stormy seas to a wonderful earthly destination.

Of course, the Communists did not recognize that there was a greater helmsman – God – who was guiding everything in history toward an even greater eternal destiny.

It is interesting that Mao is now dead and the people of God are multiplying exponentialy in China, an athiest state.

It is understandable that the Communists are blind to God’s working. But what about us believers? Why are we sometimes blind?

Like many believers, I complain when things aren’t going my way. I blame these failures on others or, occasionally, myself.

Certainly, I am responsible for my own wrong actions and thoughts. But I sometimes overlook how God may be working in my circumstances.

There are a couple of Bible examples that spring to my mind.

The first is the story of Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4. King Nebuchadnezzar has a frightening dream and asks Daniel to interpret it.

Daniel gives the interpretation and tells the king that he will become insane and live outside in the fields for a time. He warns the king to break from his sinful past and to be kind to the poor or the dream will become reality.

Nebuchadnezzar ignores the warning and sometime later he becomes insane for seven years and lives in the fields. Only when he repents is his sanity – and his kingdom – restored.

Nebuchadnezzar did not listen when God was speaking to him.

But David, King of Israel, did. In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan confronts David with his sinful seduction of Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. David was cut to the heart and repented. There was a personal cost but God restored him to favour.

I realize that God is speaking to me constantly – through circumstances, through people, through thoughts and dreams. Am I listening? Am I thankful rather than resentful?

God is at work in my life. I need to watch and listen. He is my Great Helmsman.


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