Monday, January 2, 2017

A new trailhead

Often when my husband Bill and I hike in wilderness areas, we come upon an intersection of trails right in the middle of nowhere.  Which way do we go?

And so, Bill always carries a trail map with him.  This is where that path goes. This is where we are heading.  This is how to get there. 

On this first real day of the new year, we all have come -- in some way or another -- to an intersection of trails.  It may mean a new direction.  It may mean a new destination.  It may mean exploring where I already am.  It also may mean that where God is leading, there may not even be a trail at all. When I have no idea where I am going, it does not mean God is not guiding me, but taking me to a deeper place.

Anxiety tried to rob me of sleep last night, but despair is not the only trail in the forest.  It is just a deep rut to nowhere. Trusting God is not just a way out, but a way through this.  

Which of those trailheads do I choose?  Despair?  Or trusting God?  That's a daily choice I make.

Can you trust Me just one more step?  

This past year as I walked right into the perfect storm on so many levels, God reminded me over and over, "Follow My scarlet thread through this."  One more step.  One more step.

What do I choose in this?
What kind of person do I want to be in this?
What is God's way in this?
What is He trying to say to me?

More often than not, as I prayed and read Scripture this past year, verses came to the surface that applied astonishingly to what I was facing, not some cute little phrase to plug in a hole, but the reality of God on which to dwell.  Sometimes it was a passage of Scripture I read that morning, sometimes a Bible verse that I knew from long ago, sometimes even a phrase or a few words from God's Word that I would write down and take with me into the day.

What trail do I take in this?  I still have a tattered typed-out copy of Romans 12. 9-21 taped to my bathroom mirror from months ago.  God does not just give specific directions, but changes my heart.  

"I don't know what I am doing!"  I cried so many times through the course of last year.  And God would respond, "Good.  That's the very best place to be.  Because I do."

We do not know what to do,
     but our eyes are upon You.

                  2 Chronicles 20. 12

  ...even when there is no obvious trail. 


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