Saturday, August 30, 2014

WHEN DOUBT CREEPS IN

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding; in all your ways submit
to him, and he will make your path straight."
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

To trust means to walk by faith not by sight, to follow directions regardless of whether they seem to make sense or not, but how easy it is to be swayed by our intellect or our senses when we take our eyes off our source.

This truth was driven home to me not long ago when I had an errand to run, and consulted MapQuest for directions on how to get there. The instructions were simple and clear.  A long straight stretch of highway, with a left turn at the end.  So off I set, fully confident that this trip would be a breeze.

MapQuest is a source I trust, they have never steered me wrong, and yet when I reached the intersection and made the turn, doubt started creeping in.  Instead of keeping on keeping on, I let my mind convince me this couldn't possibly be right, as I was now on a gravel road leading to a large vegetable farm.  MapQuest must have made a mistake. They must have meant a right turn at the intersection, not a left.

There was a complex of lovely homes to the right, so I turned around and drove towards them.  Confident this was the right thing to have done, I started looking for the address but couldn't find it.  The name of the road was correct, but there was no such number on it.  I drove up that road, and I drove down it, and finally went into the sales office for help.  They consulted a map and told me the address I was looking for was indeed on the other side of the highway, the side I was so sure couldn't possibly be the right one.

And so I turned around again, but made a wrong turn out of the parking lot and managed to get lost trying to find my way back to the intersection.  More time wasted before I got back to the gravel road, and all this notwithstanding, my mind continued to rebel.  It can't possibly be this vegetable farm, it can't be that other farm, it's definitely not that mansion, and on and on and on.  I was so busy listening to these thoughts, I couldn't find the number I was looking for on this side of the road either.

A trip that should have taken no more than 15 minutes or so, had now stretched to an hour, all because I had chosen to listen to my senses instead of my source.  Frustrated, close to tears, and not knowing what else to do, I started praying in earnest for the Lord to help me find my way.  And he did.  A mail delivery truck appeared out of nowhere.  The mailman had me follow him to the address I was looking for, which turned out to be the very mansion my intellect had dismissed, and that I had driven past several times without even noticing the number. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ON TAKING A BREATH AND LETTING GO

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You."
(Isaiah 26:3)

Sometimes I feel so frustrated I could scream.  What at first looks so promising falls through; I take two steps forward, only to take three back; situations that need straightening out can't be because my hands are tied and I can't get through to the people who might be able to help me.  I don't even know who could help me.  Obstacles, obstacles, and more obstacles at every turn.  Sometimes I get so tired of being alone and trying to fight my own battles, I find myself wishing for a husband, or a best friend, or just anyone who would be my champion and go to bat for me, at least some of the time.

And then this morning I opened an e-mail with the above verse (Isaiah 26:3) in it.  That was all, but it did get my attention and cause me to take a deep breath.  I started reading through the promises in my It Is Written book, and found many gentle reminders of His love for me, reminders that I am not alone, reminders that He is my champion, and that when I relinquish control and place my cares at the foot of the Cross, I can trust that He will work things out for my good and His glory.