“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
The rain poured down hard on this very first day of high school.
My entrance into a new grade was also marked by another major change. After spending junior high and most of elementary in private school, this day marked my first day in public school.
This high school was huge — stretching across multiple buildings separated by multiple walkways, parking lots and courtyards. Because I’d visited the school prior to the first day of class, I knew getting lost was a real possibility.
I’d pored over my registration packet the night before to review the campus map and locate my classes. I’d pinpointed which building I’d enter and which direction I’d go when I got there.
On the map it made sense. But as my dad turned into the school and proceeded to the drop-off point, I felt more and more confused.
Right in front of where my dad stopped, a large group of teenagers exited buses and cars, locked up their bikes, and walked away from the building I thought I was supposed to enter. And they looked like they knew what they were doing!
Were the steps I’d planned based on the map correct, or did the kids in front of me know something I didn’t know? I just wanted to get things right.
I debated the cost of making the wrong decision. The steady downpour added pressure. If I chose the wrong direction, I would lose time, potentially get lost, and be late for class. And, more importantly, I’d mess up my hair and new first-day-of-school-clothes in the rain.
But then I remembered something.
I had a map. I’d studied the map. And I had a reasonable amount of faith in the administration which put that map together.
The directions weren’t complicated. I just needed to trust the map … and based on that map, I simply needed to turn right.
But I didn’t. After my dad stopped at the crosswalk and kissed me on the cheek, I stepped out of the car into the rain — and turned left, following the crowd.
This decision led me to a wing I had no business being in. I wandered through the agriculture building, eventually winding up in the wood shop. Realizing I’d gone the wrong way, I trekked back outside through the rain to go the way I originally should have traveled and into the building where most of my classes were. (Let’s not even talk about what all that rain did to my hair and my brand-new clothes.)
While I did end up in the right spot eventually, the start of my first day of high school would have been so much simpler if I’d decided to trust my map and the hands that had put it together.
Proverbs 3:5 encourages us to: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Over and over in God’s Word — the life “map” He’s provided for us — He shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11), directs our steps (Psalm 37:23) and provides light for the journey through His Word.
The key is to rely on the map He’s provided — to trust Him when we understand His will and even when we don’t, to believe He can light our path as we move forward.
As simple as this truth is, it’s not always easy to go the opposite direction of your peers, immediate community or culture at large.
The feeling you might be doing it wrong (while everyone else got it right) can be downright overwhelming. The discomfort from obeying God when His way might not make sense is real. But none of that changes the truth. God wants us to trust Him and His Word. Why? Because He wants us to walk the right way, and trusting Him at His Word is how that happens.
And the good news? Whether you’ve followed the map of God’s Word since the first go- ‘round or just decided to put your trust in Him and His Word after a time of wandering, He has a wonderful way of redeeming lost time.
Dear God, I want to get life right. Help me trust Your Word — the map You’ve provided to instruct me in living. Help me redeem the time I’ve lost from not following Your plan before today, and give me hope that You can light my path from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (NASB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Do you struggle to follow the “map” of God’s Word? Why or why not?
Has God redeemed time for you after you’ve decided to trust Him at His Word? Share your story in the comments to encourage someone.
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