“Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
I would venture to say that each one of us has tucked away in our minds the memories of events that, though humorous now, were traumatizing at the time. One of those for me was a Sunday afternoon drive to the home of a friend of my dad’s.
I was a happy 6-year-old at the time and very proud of the fact that I was now able to read. Being the oldest of 4 kids, it brought me great pleasure to “show off” my newly acquired knowledge. I loved practicing my reading skills and did it every chance I could.
This particular afternoon I was testing the waters of reading road signs. That was quite a challenge because Dad seemed to be driving faster than I could decipher the letters and put sounds to them. Even though frustrated, I kept at it — until one sign put an abrupt halt to my afternoon game. As we turned off the highway to a side street, the sign before me clearly read “D-e-a-d E-n-d.” I knew what “dead” meant. I knew what “end” meant. To put the two together could only mean one thing: Dad was driving us down a road to a place where the only possible outcome was death!
I could not believe my eyes! My dad was completely ignoring the street sign!! My body froze. I became suddenly speechless. My eyes darted back and forth between Mom and Dad. Neither seemed the least bit concerned. In fact, they appeared happy and carefree. I glanced at my brother and sisters. Same lack of concern. All seemed content and excited to be on this adventure. I could understand my siblings — after all, they couldn’t read yet. They were oblivious to the obvious. But Mom? How could she allow Dad to do such a thing to us? And Dad? How could he DO such a thing?
In the back seat, feeling every bump and turn in the road, I wondered with each one if that was going to be the last. How will death come? Will the road just end? Will we fall off into some huge hole? Will it hurt? My breathing became sporadic as I waited to die. I was on the verge of hyperventilating as we pulled into the driveway of a home I had never seen before. Although it took me a while to be able to move and pry myself from the seat of the car, I was never so glad to open the door and step out onto a new-to-me, wonderful plot of ground.
As I think back on that experience, several things come to mind. First of all, I knew just enough to be dangerous. I was leaning on my own limited 6-year-old understanding. I knew what the road sign read but, unlike Mom and Dad, I didn’t know what it meant.
Secondly, my dad knew exactly where he was taking us that afternoon. He had knowledge I didn’t. Dad could anticipate the joys that were ahead for us that afternoon by traveling down that new-to-me less traveled road.
Thirdly, I realize, to my dismay, I was the only one in the car who didn’t trust Dad completely. I knew he loved me. I was his little girl. Why did I doubt? What made me think that this man who loved me with all his heart and would do anything for me would turn on me and intentionally take me down a road that would cause me harm?
Oh, wow! What a lesson!! How many times have I felt as if my Heavenly Father was taking me down a “dead end” street? How many times have I questioned his motives or why he was forcing me to walk this path? And how many times have these so-called “dead end” streets ended in wonderful blessings?
The lesson I need to learn? When will I ever trust my Heavenly Father enough to not hyperventilate when he forces me to turn off my familiar, comfortable roads to unfamiliar streets with twists, turns and uncertain destinations?
Dear God, Thank you for being patient with me as I seem to have to keep learning the same lessons over and over again. Help me to trust you with everything — even (and especially) with my life. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.
Isaiah 25:9, “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is The Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation’.” (NIV)
Time for personal reflection:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you trust God. Are you a “one”, barely acknowledging his leadership in your life? Or are you a “ten”, able to follow him with abandon, trusting his guidance and protection even when your current circumstances are less than desirable?
What lesson does God keep having to teach you over and over again? What is holding you back from learning that lesson?
Journal with me:
I would love to hear from you. Is there anyone else out there who, like me, seems to be slow to grasp a lesson (or lessons) from God? What lesson is God currently trying to teach you?