I was talking with one of my young people recently about the stresses of Year 10. She shared that at the beginning of the year the teachers sat them down and told them every piece of work- every test, assignment, essay and exam- that they would be doing over the course of the year. She said it was overwhelming and that it would have been nicer if the teachers told them about the work load step by step rather than all at once.
I started to think about all the times I have asked God to give me a detailed plan of my future. I often find myself wondering where God wants me to be in 10 years and praying that He’ll tell me right now every step I need to take to get there. I'm guessing I'm not alone in my frustration when it doesn't happen. But this conversation made me consider how overwhelmed I would be if God actually did what I asked Him to, if He told me everything that was going to happen in my life or even if He told me everything that was going to happen this year. I still wish God would give me a little more to work with.
Psalm 119:105 says that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet. Did you catch that? The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet. It doesn't say it is a beacon into the future. It doesn't even say it is a street lamp that will help you get to the next corner. It says a lamp unto our feet. This means that it will illuminate our next step or two but not much further. Following a light that only allows you to see the next step may not be the easiest way to get to your destination but it is possible to make the whole trip this way.
I was driving in the Adelaide Hills one night and it was unbelievably foggy. My headlights were barely lighting up more than a metre in front of my car. I hate this kind of driving, it scares me. I like to see further into the distance. I like to see any obstacles or bends in the road so that I can safely navigate them. But with teeth gritted and knuckles white on the steering wheel, I made it to my destination. I could only see a metre in front of me the entire time and, although I didn't like it, I made the whole trip that way.
My journey with God is often like that. I find myself wishing I could see further into the future or see any obstacles that are coming my way. But I know that I can make the whole journey with only enough light to see the next step. This way I am depending on God for each step and not getting overwhelmed by the things that He has for me far in the distance. Let’s face it, if God gave me enough light to see even the next month’s worth of steps I would be very tempted to do it without Him or maybe to go a different way.
It can be pretty scary feeling like you are walking into the unknown. Thankfully we have a God who not only gives us a light unto our feet, but also offers to guide us every step of the way.
For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14