Have you ever been too afraid to step out and accomplish a goal, a dream or something you knew you were meant to do, because you were scared of failure or making a mistake? I am sure most of us have, at some point, experienced a lack of courage to take that initial step, though deep down inside, we knew we were supposed to do it!
Just recently, I had a chance to watch a movie documentary called the March of the Penguins. It was a film about Emperor penguins’ daily survival to raise their young in the harshest environment on earth – Antarctica. When the penguins are ready to mate, they travel inland about 70 miles so that they are protected from predators that are seeking to kill them or their young. Large groups of penguins gather just before they embark on their journey toward the same breeding ground they go to every year. In one unified effort, they all set out on the long expedition in a single file line. The penguins never take the same path twice, but still always end up at the exact same destination.
Antarctica is one big sheet of ice that cracks, melts, separates and refreezes; creating road blocks and dead-ends on paths that were once passable. The penguins, when faced with these challenging problems, are not bothered or troubled. They briefly stop to assess the situation and then find some other way toward their familiar breeding ground.
It is like they have a built in GPS system that helps them get to where they need to be, despite the turns and forks in the road. If one path is blocked, their internal GPS reroutes them toward their target and they are off once again!
The Christian life is much like that. God comes to live and dwell inside each of his children, assisting us with every situation, difficulty and trial. And he eagerly desires to help lead us toward the good plan and purpose he has marked out for us! The Bible says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that he may remain with you forever— The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see him or know and recognize him. But you know and recognize him, for he lives with you [constantly] and will be in you” (John 14:16-17 AMP). The Holy Spirit will give us wise counsel to make right choices. He will give us the strength to endure various hardships and will get us back on track even if we take a wrong turn.
The Apostle Paul, while on one of his missionary journeys, tried to go to two different regions, but the Holy Spirit stopped him. The Bible explains: “Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there” (Acts 16:6-10). Not only did the Holy Spirit reveal to the Apostle Paul and Silas that the direction they were heading was wrong, but he showed them the right place for them to go – Macedonia!
That’s how God works. He wants us to step in a direction that we believe he wants us to go, but be open and willing to change our course if he prompts us to do something different. When we live our lives in close fellowship with God, he speaks to us through his Word, His still small voice, other people and through circumstances. He will help us discern what is of him and what isn’t. And if we do find ourselves getting off track, he will help us get back to where we need to be. He is like a supernatural GPS: no matter what direction we turn, he will navigate us toward our final destination. Simply put, he works all things together for our good!
The next time you face a difficult decision or challenging circumstance, remember that God is with you and will help strengthen you for the trial at hand, give you supernatural wisdom to make the right decision and will reroute you if you get lost. So just relax and trust God that he is working everything out for you! The penguins didn’t get all upset when they faced a dead-end, and you do not have to either. God will get you to the right destination if you will lean on and trust him.