Your own ear will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go, whether to the left or to the right.” [Isaiah 30:21 (NLT)]
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. [Psalm 34:19 (NLT)]
Within a day of having written yesterday’s words about trusting Jesus and following Him, God reminded me how difficult it is to actually do that. Granted, it wasn’t God’s voice we were following but His point was well taken. Mid-way through our 1,400 mile drive north, the GPS cautioned us of one accident after another within a few miles ahead of us. After the first such warning, I studied the map trying to find a detour but couldn’t seem to find a route that wouldn’t lead us right back into the accident area and the promised lane closures. When five accidents lay right in our path, not wanting to spend hours in a traffic jam, we reluctantly decided to let the GPS lead us around the congestion. Following its guidance, my husband exited the interstate while I kept trying to figure out what route we’d be taking. Although the GPS screen always indicated the direction of the next turn, we never knew the long-range plan for returning to the highway. We simply had to trust the GPS and take it one turn at a time. Of course, with my trusty map, I tried to second-guess the GPS the entire way. I just couldn’t cede complete control to that sweet calm voice directing us. Without any help from me, however, that voice got us back on the interstate well north of all of the accidents and congestion.
Had I been alone in the car, without someone riding shotgun with map in hand, I probably wouldn’t have trusted the GPS to lead me off the highway. Reluctant to abandon my original plan, I would have ignored its repeated warnings and driven into trouble. Unwilling to navigate knowing only one turn at a time, I would have encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic.
On occasion, the GPS has let me down so my trepidation about it is understandable. God, on the other hand, had never failed me and yet I fight His detours all of the time. As hesitant as I was about navigating just one turn at a time, I’m even more hesitant to live my life that way. Of course, we know God’s long range plan for all of us—salvation—but His route rarely seems direct. God-ordained detours that direct us off the path we’ve been taking occur all of the time and they rarely come with a detailed explanation. Taking God’s detours requires trusting a loving God to get us where we’re supposed to be without us knowing how He’s going to do it.
Heavenly Father, intellectually, we know your plan is a good one; help us to truly believe that spiritually. Thank you for the reminder that what may seem like a detour to us is just part of the route you’ve already mapped out for us. Give us faith enough to hear your voice and heed your directions. Release us from our fear when we can’t see what lies ahead—may we trust your infinite wisdom in giving us only one day at a time.