"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." Psalm 32:8 (NIV)
We were off the beaten path for about an hour when we realized we were lost. I pulled the car into a small motel to ask for directions. There were two elderly men sitting behind the counter with their feet up, watching a small television set.
Clearing my throat to get their attention, "Excuse me. Can either of you direct me back to the interstate?" I asked. They just looked at me with a blank stare. So I returned to the car and gave my friend the bad news. "Well, we're lost and we're going to die."
"No, we're not," she said in a comforting way. "Look! There's a gas station across the street. Maybe someone in there will be able to help us." There was hope in her voice, but not in my heart.
To me, the shady, rundown building across the street looked like a hang-out for serial killers. The paint was peeling and the shrubbery was overgrown. Nothing about the store said, "Welcome." There was no way I was gonna walk into a nest of potential murderers willingly. However, my friend persuaded me otherwise. "We won't talk to anyone," she promised. "We'll just go in and buy a map."
Once we were inside the creepy, timeworn building, I scanned the place for our killer. When it appeared to be safe, we got our directions and got out of the store.
And eventually, we made it home. But not without learning a great lesson: Life is full of dead ends and confusing directions that can lead us off course.
From time to time we can get lost spiritually if we don't look to God as our source for answers and guidance. When it happens to me, there are certain signs. Life seems dull, scary, uneventful and without purpose or clear direction.
Sadness sets in and my days look lonely, cold and dark. I lose confidence in decision-making, too. Without seeking clear directions from God, it's easy to become confused about which way to turn. Eventually I can start to feel like I'm lost.
It doesn't have to be this way. We can turn to God for help. In today's key verse, God makes this promise: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." We don't have to go it alone as if we're feeling our way through the darkness. God is there to light our path.
No matter how intentional we are about staying the course, without God's direction we'll end up in a place we never intended to go. Whenever we need direction — whether it's raising a strong-willed child, changing jobs or dealing with a difficult relationship — God will faithfully provide the counsel we need. And we can find God's counsel in His Word, through prayer and by relying on the Holy Spirit to pave the way before us. Practicing these principles is the only way we can be sure of reaching our destination.
It's true. There will be obstacles along life's way and, at times, the path we take will feel unknown, but God wants to guide, equip and lead us each day as we learn to depend more and more on Him.
Dear Lord, I've been wandering aimlessly alone. Today, I learned that You desire to guide and counsel me. Because You care about the details of my life, I will seek Your Word and follow the path You've set before me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Do I feel lost or confused about God's direction in my life?
Set aside a time each day to read a portion of God's Word and journal about what you read. Journaling will help you map out God's course for your life.
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." (NIV)
John 8:32, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV)
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