Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here

Have you ever been standing in a mall and can't seem to figure out where to get to that favorite store of yours? You look for one of those, You are here, signs. You find it and look for the familiar to get you there. Sometimes it's just right around the corner, but other times you must go the long distance down the corridor or up the escalator to the next floor. But as long as you follow the directions, you will get to your destination.

I have often found myself in a place in life where I called out to God and said, "Lord, where do I go from here?" I cannot tell you the times I have heard my Savior say, "As long as you keep following Me, you will be just fine". I can tell you, those words are true. He has been my Great North, my Compass, for the journey.

I have to remind myself to stay focused. I have heard people say, "It's not where you are, it's where your going that matters". I'm not so sure that's true. Don't we have to see where we are to understand where we are headed? God gives us grace for today and hope for tomorrow. That's how we know we are going in the right direction or not. That's how we judge if a U-turn is needed. Maybe the brakes needed halted. Might a yield sign up be up ahead and we must merge into what is oncoming slowly.

I think where we are in life is important. It has meaning. It's a time of reflection. Not just where we are, but where we came from. I have learned there have been times in my life where God didn't want me to move forward until I really took a good long look at where I was. It all matters. Our past and present. Every single choice we have made has a great impact on who we are today. It's all included in the journey. God connects everything in life for us. Yes, even those adversities we face that we have no control over. Maybe on the other side of heaven we will get to glimpse back and see He was there every step of the way. Just maybe we will see the highlights and have an understanding of those dead ends we ran into and how they lead to the correct road that in turn lead us straight into the path of God's glory.

My Pastor has a great question he asks. "Are you closer to the Lord today than you were a year ago? Ten years ago?" I think my journey would look more like one of those charts that zig zag up and down. I have some loops that stay high and others that drastically zoom down and hit the lowest point. I'm not sure there has ever been a point in life where I remained steadfast and sure. I tend to go off on my own journey, but praise Jesus. He is there to gently lead me back. But, that is me moving. Not my Savior. He is remains present. He is my Forever North. He is still and never changing. It is through Him that I not only find my destination, but I find the best route.

He not only sees where I am, but He knows what's around me. He knows what's going to distract me and He too knows what I might pass up out of sheer fear or uninterest. Isn't that what is so amazing about our Lord and Savior? He sees past where we are. He knows just where we have come from and He has our tomorrow all planned out.

I have learned that when I take my focus off of Him and place it on my circumstance, trial, trouble or fear, I am going to miss the heart of what He wants me to see. He is bigger than any giant I will ever face. I just need to remember He has already equipped me with everything I need for the journey, including my travel map.

Today you may be in the midst of the greatest trial you have yet to face. Maybe illness has invaded your body. A loved one has gone home and now your heart is more lonely than you could have imagined. That job you were counting on has just abandoned your dreams for that summer vacation. Your husband has deceived you and now your facing divorce. Those teenage years have struck and you find yourself more than ever looking for strength. The tests the doctor ran didn't come out with the results we were looking for. The list goes on and on.

Friends, trial touches us all. If we have not faced struggle yet in life, it will come. I'm not sure we can ever prepare for tragedy. What we can do is trust our Savior. We can keep His promises alive in our heart. We can walk with Him daily and seek His will for our life. Without Him everything seems hopeless. But He is a God of Hope. His Word remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is true for all of us. His Word gives us a greater hope that anything we could ever gain trying to do on our own.

Is it possible to look to our adversities as opportunities? Sure it is. We must stop seeing life as an ending, but envision it as a beginning. The Lord is always present to lead us where our feet have yet to travel. He knows the way. He has been there. He has traveled each road ahead of us to prepare our journey. It is through those trials that we grow more compassionate and merciful.

I don't think we have to try to connect all the dots and figure out what has purpose and what doesn't. The Lord does that for us. We just have to learn to live right now in this moment and keep our eyes upon Him.

How do we do this? We remain in prayer. We keep His Word present in our lives. When we feel lost and can't find our way, all we must do is call out, "Jesus", and He will answer. He will take our hand and show us the way.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Philippians 4:13

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Romans 4:19

"Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."
1 Chronicles 16:11

"Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore."
Psalm 105:4

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105

Lord, guide us with Your light. Keep our eyes focused upon You. May we not misstep and lose direction. Place a hedge of Your protection around us today, Lord. Help us to see all You have for us. Guard our hearts against doubt. Give us strength for today and help us to rest in Your peace. May we search for Your will in our lives and not allow fear to cause us to heed Your direction, but may we follow You in a humble spririt, filled with Your grace for all we must face. You have given us the Holy Spirit as a gift to guide us. Praise You, Lord Jesus. Thank You

Friends, this is my prayer for you today.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26


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