“Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:20-21
Maybe last year wasn’t a pleasant year for you. Maybe you were waiting for it to finally end. Maybe you’re anticipating the New Year being more agreeable than last year. You’re not alone. I’ve been there. Sometimes the seasons of our lives last a year… and sometimes beyond.
There are seasons when our straight road turns crooked, our smooth path grimly becomes unleveled, and our illuminated trail suddenly darkens. Maybe last year you traveled on such a road. When the road we’re on becomes one of difficulty and challenge, it can cause us discomfort, confusion, and loneliness. But this road is the way “home” if we will persevere in our faith, “But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
God allows seasons of adversity for our redemption and growth. Growth requires a Teacher to show us the way to everlasting life, to keep us on the path of life, and impart to us the faith to do what we’ve been called to do. Growth opportunities present themselves through the crooked, unleveled, and darkened roads. This is why we must seek God and His ways for each step we take. God promise is, “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 This is the secret to finding our way home.
When left to our own devices, we typically veer off God’s intended road and onto a path that doesn’t lead home. I’ve done this. I once had difficulty accepting my path was one that God was allowing for the length of time it was taking.
I like challenges, and I like coming up with solutions and applying them to problems. I’m accustomed to sitting in the driver’s seat and making things happen. I found myself veering all over the road trying desperately fix my problems as quickly as possible… until one day I heard God’s voice behind me say, “You’re not going to make it happen this time, I AM. Be still and know that I AM God.”
Honestly, I didn’t know how to be still, especially on a path that was ravished by a storm. All I wanted to do was clean up the mess as quickly as possible and get on with my life. But instead, God gave me the grace to be still, grow, and persevere in my faith and trust in Him.
During this season God taught me:
- How to courageously walk a path of darkness, while blind and out of control. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
- How to persevere in faith even while tripping over rocks on an uneven path. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
- How to respond to adversity and warfare in a godly way when faced with unforeseen crooked places. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 6
- How to listen to His still small voice, no matter how desperately I wanted to take back control. “This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:20-21
God wants to lead us home on the path He has specifically designed for us. Are you willing to listen to His voice, surrender your will, and allow Him to guide your steps?
Are you ready to start this New Year seeking God’s will and way on the path you’re currently on?
Always remember, with God, you are never traveling alone!
Make Psalm 25:4 your 2019 prayer: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.” Psalm 25:4