Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
It’s New Year’s Eve and it’s raining. In fact it’s not just raining, it’s absolutely tipping it down. I’m driving along when all of a sudden disaster strikes. The windscreen wipers stop working. For anyone that has ever experienced this, they will realise that this is terrifying when you are driving along at 60mph – the heavens raining down like sub-machine gun fire. The problem is that instead of being able to see through your windscreen, all you can see is water galloping across it like wild horses. The only thing I can see are the little cats eyes on the road, one by one peering out like tiny candles swamped by darkness. Each cats eye represents a marker that we are one step closer to home.
This last year has been an interesting year for me – I came into 2015 brimming with hope that my whole life was set out before me. I had plans, plans to give me a future and a hope. Good, noble and Christian plans. The only problem was that 2015 saw my plans, in many different ways, seemingly fade away from my grasp. I felt as if the windscreen wipers of my life had suddenly broken and I could barely see a yard in front of me. I wonder if you have ever felt like this?
I don’t for one minute advocate driving with your wind screen wipers broken but as I journeyed I felt God remind me of a certain truth. God so often only shows us the next step, the next cats eye on the road of life if you like. As I drove, my trust in the small flickers of light on the road increased dramatically as I tried to stay on track. They were all I had. It’s the same with faith. In the adventure of following God he so often only shows us the next step in life, calling us to trust him alone whilst the rest of our view seems distorted and confused. It’s scary, it’s hard and I certainly would much rather see the future clearly so that I would be comfortable – just like last year. But, as this year has gone, it has somehow called me into a deeper trust of God.
In our heads I think we know that God has good plans for all of us, he loves to give good gifts. But over all his gifts he longs for our hearts to trust him, to walk this life with him. Believing and actually doing that is hard. It reminds me of Abraham, God promised him he would be the father of a great nation and yet God called him to sacrifice his only son – something that would humanly take away the promise God had given him. Why? To see if Abraham truly would trust him. Of course we know God stopped him from doing it – but Abraham didn’t know that.
I don’t know if you ever had to let go of something that you longed for. Not even let go, but had it wrestled out of your hands. I’ve found myself shedding tears, getting angry with God or simply doubting he is there at all.
“But I thought this was right?”
But as we let go we have two choices, to give up, or to trust that God, the giver of life, has our best interests at heart. Sometimes he has to take our hopes away so that they won’t consume us.
The only thing I can relate to is that one time in my life I was consumed by football. It was all I ever thought about and loved. My life was built on it. Then one year God took it all away – I got injured – and that dream died. But looking back God took the dream of football away so that I could enjoy it without it consuming me. For it had consumed me. Now I love it more than ever and yet am not bound to it. God knew what he was doing.
Its in that place that I find myself again. But I’m trying to trust God and look out for every cats eye that comes my way. It’s hard, painful and confusing at times. I still feel I’m along way from home but there is deep joy in knowing that when you give your dreams and your heart to God he will never let you down. It’s this that I’m holding on to.
As I drove I felt God whisper ‘Will you trust me, even when you cannot see?’
I think he asks the same to us all.
‘God must take away the heaven we create or otherwise it will become our hell’ John Eldredge