Guidance through the Dark

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,

Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…

Isaiah 42:16a

God can lead us even when we don’t realize it… This is especially true when we find ourselves in situations and seasons of life that are unfamiliar, unexpected – even uncomfortable – and our hearts just cry out for “normal” and long for the familiar.

But growth always requires change – and following God into the high calling and depth of fellowship He desires for each of us will mean stepping into the “unknown” at times. Just as God led Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Paul, and so many others, we won’t always know why God is allowing the trials and transitions touching our lives – but we can know that He’s promised to make it ALL a blessing to us if we will stay yielded to Him.   

Maybe those “ways they have not known” in your life means the loss of a relationship or loved one, a change of role in work or family or ministry, or the death of a dream you’ve held dear that now looks impossible… And when we find ourselves on unfamiliar paths, it’s easy to wonder if God is still with us, still guiding, still good.

What to do? When a season of unexpected change touches our lives, we can take comfort in a few truths that are unchanging and rock solid: 

1.  “Adonai Roi” ~ He is the Lord our Shepherd. By definition, shepherds lead, feed, and protect those under their care. And if your heart is His, then you can KNOW that He is guiding you, though you may not understand, see, or feel it in the moment. He never ceases being who and what He is (not even for a moment) – and He is our Good Shepherd, “that great Shepherd of the sheep,” who cannot fail (see John 10:11, 14; Hebrews 13:20).

2. He’s not done leading you, He’s not through with you… He’s going somewhere with this, and His plans for you stretch into eternity. He’s never stranded a sheep in the valley yet, and He’s not going to start with you. Even if it feels like you’re in the valley of the shadow of death, He’s leading you THROUGH. 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;

Your love, O Lord, endures forever…

Psalm 138:8

3. Trust is a choice (not a feeling), trust is powerful beyond what we realize, and trust is always rewarded.  Abraham could not understand the guidance of God when it called him to take Isaac up Mt. Moriah, but he chose to trust even if it cost him the most precious thing on earth.

Any good father knows that Abraham would have rather died a thousand deaths than offer up his “yachid” ~ literally, his “only one” son (Genesis 22:2). We can see it from this side, and we know how the story ended – that the blessings God promised to Abraham for his obedience are still flowing, both to Israel and to every follower of Jesus today:

“By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son – blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 22:16-18

Your Father gave the life of His “yachid,” His very own Isaac (as it were) to purchase you. Remember that the next time you face the unfamiliar and unexpected – Your Father’s love will never fail.  

And as you trust and worship, rest assured that you’ll witness Him work the second part of Isaiah 42:16 in your life, in His perfect time and way:

I will turn the darkness into light before them

And make the rough places smooth.

These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16b

May you rest in the Good Shepherd’s guidance this week,

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2017

 

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