My husband and I enjoyed many safaris together while we lived in Africa. We had a four-wheel-drive vehicle; we had all the necessary gear for such excursions (tents and coolers and cookstoves and such); and we had maps for where we were going – so why not head off into the wilderness alone? Among other things, those journeys taught me a lot about the need for prayer, because we very soon learned that maps, even good ones, will only take you so far! We always seemed to come across roads (or game trails masquerading as roads) that weren’t on our maps! When coming to these places, we used to joke, “Well, all roads lead somewhere!”
I think life is like that, don’t you? There are many times when we are faced with choices but are unsure of the right path to take. I learned fairly quickly that it’s better to ask God for directions at the outset, rather than half-way down the track! But even when we do that, there will be times when we might doubt the way we’ve taken because it’s more difficult than we anticipated — it winds about or has unexpected obstacles along the way. What I have also come to understand over time is that God is just as concerned about our journey as He is about our ultimate destination. Those meandering routes in the African bush taught me a lot about looking to God for help. They taught me to depend on His Word and His promises for encouragement all along the way!
One of the Scriptures so meaningful to me in this regard comes from Job 23:8-12. Job was a man who had endured the most difficult of journeys of life. At one point, he lost everything — not only his material goods, but all of his children as well. His friends couldn’t comfort him. Even his own wife suggested that he “curse God and die”! Job wasn’t just struggling to make sense of life; he was desperately looking for God. Listen to his words:
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
Job may not have known where God was: but God knew where Job was. He knew exactly the path Job was walking, and He had a glorious purpose awaiting at the end.
There will be days for all of us when we struggle to determine the path, and though we look to the east, to the north or to the south, we cannot discern God’s presence. My encouragement to you is to be like Job. Follow God closely and don’t turn away from Him. Get to know His Word; treasure what He says more than your daily bread, knowing that even when the path diverges, even when the path to take is uncertain, He knows the way that you take and will use even that road for your ultimate good. Yes, He is interested in your journey as much as your destination; and though you may temporarily lose sight of Him, He has not lost sight of you!
Blessings on your day!
© June 2018