“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “thoughts and plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11
I’m one of those people you would describe as being “directionally challenged”. When I read a map I have to turn it around so that it’s facing the direction that I’m going. Even the wonderful invention of the GPS hasn’t helped me because I don’t trust the voice that tells me which direction I should take! As you can imagine, I’ve gotten lost on many occasions.
I was channel surfing last night and watched some of the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. On this episode, the teams were given a map and had to navigate their way through an obstacle course. I had to laugh at the mother and a daughter team when the daughter announced “I’ve never had to read a map”! Yes, as you can imagine, they got lost at the very first turn!
Even with a map or GPS, it’s still easy to get lost, especially if you’re like me and you think you know better and you just go the way that ‘seems’ to be in the right direction.
I believe in life that each person has a path to walk on. I have my own path and it had a beginning and it will have an end. Along the journey there are obstacles and challenges but if I choose not to follow the map or listen to the GPS, that’s when I get lost.
As I walk along my path, there are questions that I ask. What am I supposed to do with my life? How will I know the right path to choose? Will I even recognize the right direction for my life? And what will happen if I choose the wrong direction? What if I take the wrong path? Will I even make it to my destination? I doubt that I’m the only person to have ever asked these questions.
As a Christian, there’s another question that pops up from time to time and it’s centered around knowing this thing called “The Will of God”. Am I doing the Will of God for my life? What is the Will of God for my life? How will I know the Will of God of God for my life?
When I became a Christian I thought God was going to magically answer all these questions in an instant. After all, the first sermon I ever heard preached was about the plans and purposes God had for my life. I remember sitting in church for the first time thinking “Well, the plans I have for my own life don’t seem to be working out so well right now, so if this God says He has a plan for my life, I’ll give that a try.”
I made the choice to follow God but then I opened myself up to endless new choices and decisions. And the one over-arching question was this: what does God want me to do with my life?
Now I don’t know about other Christians, but I don’t wake up in the morning after receiving a dream from God about what path I’m supposed to take for the day. I don’t wake up and find that God has miraculously written a list of instructions and placed them neatly beside my bed. I don’t check my phone and find a flashing notification with God’s plans for the day. I don’t hear an audible voice telling me what I should choose. There’s no burning bush. There’s no blinding lights. There’s just this thing called faith.
So I make a decision each day to choose to trust Him and then I take one step forward, then another and another, believing that I’m walking in the right direction – the direction of His choosing. His ‘will’ for my life. And if I’m not going in the right direction, then I also trust that God loves me enough that He will intervene and get me back on track. His track.
Over the years there is one verse that is my “go to” verse when I’m worried that I might be on the wrong path. I keep coming back to it again and again because it gives me hope and encouragement that if I do step off the path, or if I do take a wrong turn, or if I am going in the wrong direction, God will let me know.
“Whether I turn to the left or to the right my ears will hear a voice behind me saying: ‘This is the way, walk in it. Here is the road, now follow it.'” Isaiah 30:21