Have you been praying for direction, but things still feel hazy? God himself will guide you along the pathway of life. He will teach you the way to go.
It was a beautiful afternoon in Oxford. I paused at the top of Seven Sisters overlook on my walk. I needed to pray, wonder, and “have a think,” as the British love to say.
This afternoon I asked for direction for our family, for God’s leading as to the next venture on which we were to embark. Our time in England was nearing an end, and I was praying for direction for the next step.
The path was so clear when we moved to Oxford that we were to make this international move. Sometimes God’s guidance is unmistakable. The Lord directed us every step of the way. But now that our time in England was nearing an end, things seemed hazy. We weren’t sure what was next.
How can things be so clear one minute and obscure the next? What happens when the pathway isn’t clear?
After a few moments of prayer, I descended through the woods towards the path to Boars Hill– one of my favorite stretches to wander. The path meandered through the wood and broke upon a grassy knoll where sheep grazed.
I noticed that the trail further on wasn’t always clear. The distant landscape hid it from me.
“Is it there?” I wondered.
But then, it appeared again.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit whispered as if He were walking alongside me.
“This is how I direct. Sometimes it is crystal clear–like the year before you moved to England. You can see the trail for a long distance ahead of you. You know exactly where you are going in plenty of time. Other times, it is unclear until you are right up on it.”
“My direction and leading are not always given long-term in advance. Sometimes, with little preparation, I show you the path right when you are on it. But there it is. Clear as day. All along, I have been leading you.”
The peace that surpasses understanding flooded my soul as I heard His whisper of truth.
Perhaps you are here?
The path ahead seems unsure, but you keep seeking direction from God. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (ESV)
What does it mean, “He will make your paths straight”?
The thought here paints a picture of God himself cutting a straight path for us. I can almost picture God’s hands carving the path, removing obstacles, and ensuring our footing.
In the beautiful book, A Blossom in the Desert, Lilias Trotter’s words capture this truth:
“And the Lord with His Shepherd Heart will not set the souls down in a road too hard for them to follow . . . How the Good Shepherd follows the trail in all His endless patience. Even the torn wool on the briars helps Him on His way!”
With His Own Two Hands
A few days after my jaunt, my mother sent me an email that contained only a verse. As I read it, I was humbled again as God reminded me that he himself was carving out the path with his own two hands. The Scripture read:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” ~Psalm 32:8 (ESV)
My mom didn’t know I had been asking God to show us the path or how I heard His words whispered to me that day in the woods. Yet, the promise was there, God himself will guide you along the pathway of life. He will teach you the way to go. And that pathway is best.
We can rejoice when the path is unclear.
We can rest in the promise that unfailing love surrounds us.
We can be still and know that He is carving out the best path.
In His Word
Read Proverbs 3:5-6 today as a reminder that you can trust the Lord to make your paths straight.
In Your Life
Have you been praying for direction, but things still feel hazy? How does the image of God carving out the path He has for you with his own hands bring you peace? Spend some time praising God that He Himself is your guide.
For more on God’s guidance, we recommend A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter. Capturing the artistic legacy of Lilias, this book combines Scripture with Lilias’ beautiful words and art.