I’ve learned a lot of lessons while driving around South Florida.
Not only do the crazy drivers teach me lessons in holding my tongue, but I’ve also learned how to apply make-up without a mirror at 75 miles per hour. Just kidding!
However, because I am a native South Floridian, I’m sure I fit into that crazy driver category.
But, in all seriousness, God gave me a bit of insight on the road the other day.
I just wasn’t the one driving.
My dad wanted to take me and my husband to a nearby restaurant. Dad and I had been there before, but my husband had not. Yet, he grabbed the keys and jumped right in the driver’s seat.
Now, my adorable husband can get frustrated easily when I’m his co-pilot. I’m not sure why. It could be because I tend to start talking about something else, and then I forget to tell him where to turn – until the last possible moment.
So, the other day, he asked for precise directions to the restaurant before he would even leave the driveway.
I tried to explain where he needed to go, but the only problem was that there were a few sneaky turns along the way. When I told him that he needed to make a quick right into what appeared to be a neighborhood and then a quick left onto a side street, he was more confused than before I began giving him directions.
I felt like I was Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean” trying to lead someone to an island that no one can find with a compass that doesn’t point north.
I finally gave up trying to explain the exact location of our destination as my dad chuckled in the backseat, because, after all, the restaurant was only a mile away.
As we drove, I simply told my husband as much as he needed to know – a right here, another right, yet another, a quick left and we were there.
But when he put his foot on the brakes, refusing to go any further until he knew where he was going, he reminded me of how I act with God sometimes.
Sometimes, I want to know exactly how my life will turn out – right away. I treat God like a Magic 8 Ball, and when I get responses like, “Outlook not so good” or “Reply hazy, try again,” I get frustrated.
It’s not like God wants to frustrate me; rather, He wants me to trust Him with each step I take.
What’s funny is that even if God had told me what would happen during the last year or so, I probably wouldn’t have believed Him.
I wouldn’t have been able to fathom the things that have taken place – a wedding, two funerals, jobs lost, jobs found, sad goodbyes and a few hellos – just like my husband would have been no closer to the restaurant had I kept explaining the directions in the driveway.
Yet, I spend a lot of time mapping out where I think I’m going in life, when God sees the whole picture – including things I couldn’t possibly imagine.
Proverbs 27:1 touched on this when it says, “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.”
My pastor preached on this very subject a few weeks ago.
He said that when we feel secure about the present or the future, that doesn’t really mean we are. He added that the reverse is also true: Sometimes when we feel insecure about the future, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Instead of focusing on our feelings or what we can see, our hope has to be secure in God and what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.
As Isaiah 26:3 says, God “will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,” because he trusts in Him.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which path God leads us down. We know our ultimate destination – heaven, the Celestial City, eternity in His presence. With each step, trial and joyous occasion, we move a bit closer just like Christian from “Pilgrim’s Progress.”
This experience also reminded me that we have to trust God even when He leads us to do things we consider foolish. (As if we’re ever smarter than the Lord!)
My husband probably thought my directions were foolish, because he couldn’t imagine the obscure route that I knew existed. In the same way, we sometimes question God, even when He’s trying to share some “insider information” with us because we’re His children.
For instance, more than a year ago, one of my Bible study leaders said he felt like God was leading him to take out all the money he’d saved in his 401(k). At the time, he felt like it was a crazy thought. But, even though he was a little frightened, he followed through and obeyed God.
Well, we all know what happened with the stock market last year. A lot of people, unfortunately, lost most of their life savings stored up for retirement. But, not my Bible study leader.
Although he couldn’t have possibly known what would happen, he heeded God’s voice when posed with a seemingly crazy idea, and he was spared from a lot of heartache as a result.
Psalm 25:8–10 says, “The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.”
So whether God gives us a specific direction we don’t understand or He only gives us enough information to get us through the day, our trust needs to remain steadfast in Him. He knows the way.