So there’s been a common thread weaving its way through my life this past week. You know – when everything you read, listen to, see on a sign, and experience through circumstances seems to build toward a point at which you say, “Ok! I get it!” Actually, things have been quietly progressing like a child playing with building blocks – brick upon brick, a door here, a window there, not really knowing what the end result will be but knowing each step is vital to the next.
It can be frustrating and exhausting trying to move ahead when you can’t see where you’re going. An acquaintance was telling me this week how she drove into a sudden snowstorm on her way to work early Tuesday morning. As she accelerated up a familiar hill, the highway ahead was instantly enveloped in a blanket of swirling snow. Knowing a sharp curve lay just ahead she quickly prayed for God to help her see to get around the corner. For a few short moments the wind shifted, the air was clear, and she was able to maneuver the curve. Disaster averted, she drove on only to have the blizzard once again surround her. “I should have prayed for the snow to clear for longer than the curve!” she chuckled.
Life is so often like that. We want to know every detail of what lies ahead. Perhaps you are one of those people who takes each day as it comes unperturbed by interruptions or the need to reschedule events. Nevertheless, I believe we all would feel more at ease if we knew at least some of what was coming so we could plan a little better. Maybe we could have more time to mentally and emotionally prepare.
On the trips we took last summer and Christmas, I was very thankful for Google Map® and similar apps. Being in new-to-me cities, and even to find our way around parts of familiar locations, this tool enabled us to see where we were in relation to where we wanted to be. It eliminated a lot of stress and prevented us from wasting precious time. Who wants to be figuring out subway systems when I could be “grandbaby” shopping instead!
But God doesn’t operate like that. He tells us to “move here” or “go there” and usually doesn’t give us a whole lot of specifics. In His mind, it is more beneficial for me to obey His leading and put my faith totally in Him. He is more concerned that I learn to follow Him step-by-step, putting my hand in His, and being content that He is with me throughout the journey. Along the way there are qualities to be developed in me, old habits to break, new sensitivities to acquire, a quiet dependence on God to learn. Those times are precious and nothing is ever wasted when God is guiding me through the streets and byways of my life.
When our son was almost one year old we took him on his first trip to my husband’s homeland in Hong Kong. He had no idea we were embarking on a twenty-six hour voyage. Going through security checks didn’t cause him any fuss. Being wheeled around in a baggage cart was fun! Flight attendants bent over backwards to make sure he had a place to sleep and they heated up his baby formula. He was cozy and warm snuggled up next to his daddy in the baby carrier. It didn’t matter to him that the flight was so long. He wasn’t concerned at all about where he was going so long as mommy and daddy were with him and all of his needs were being met.
Oh, if I could only trust my Heavenly Father with such simplicity of faith! Why do I have to complicate things and get in the way of what He is doing in my life? When I do let go of whatever is holding me back; when I get rid of the distractions and focus instead on Who is going before and beside me; those are the times I go through a situation with peace and joy. It is then that I experience what it is to “live by faith and not by sight”.[i]
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and
assurance about what we do not see.”[ii]
Until next time,
[i] II Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
[ii] Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)