Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where are we?

My wife and I took the family to the Clemson game last weekend. We have been talking about buying a tailgate tent for a while now. The weatherman said it did not look good for game day so we decided this was the weekend to buy one. We left for Clemson early Friday afternoon with all intentions of getting to a Wal-Mart to find the illustrious tent. After not finding one in Anderson, a friend called us and said they had the Clemson tents at Wal-Mart in Central, SC. As is typically the case with road trips, we were running late and it was already dark outside. We were trying to get to the Wal-Mart in Central at night, in the rain and on an unfamiliar road. How did that go you ask, lets just say it was an adventure! Had it not been for my dad letting us use his GPS I would have had no idea how to get there. I typed the address to Wal-Mart into the GPS and the lovely female voice let me know she was ready to go. I started following the little arrow down the road. I did not know exactly where I was headed and I did not know exactly where I was but I had faith in my GPS. I knew it would get me where I needed to be. As we were approaching the first turn off of the main road, I had a guy behind me riding my bumper. Didn't he know how dangerous it was to be following that close on a rainy night in Central SC?! I was trying to see the turn but did not want to slow down too much for fear that the guy behind me would end up in my back seat. Yes, I drove right by it, I missed my turn and everyone in the car let me know! How could you miss the turn, the lady on the GPS just told you to turn! Now where are we going!? How much longer is it going to take?! Can't you just do a U-Turn and go back?!? Even though it was dark in the car I think I saw the whites of several sets of eyes as they rolled with disgust at my poor navigation skills! Don't you just love a car full of perfect drivers, even if they are only 12, 9 and 5 years old!!

As I looked back on this I though about how much faith and trust I put in that GPS device. I had absolute confidence in it. I knew without a doubt that it would get me where I needed to go. I could not see the whole route from the hotel to the Wal-Mart but I knew just enough, I knew how much farther I needed to go before my next turn and that was good enough for me. I began to think about this as it relates to my spiritual life. I asked myself, Am I content with where I am in life? Do I believe God knows where I am and where He wants me to end up one day? Do I have as much faith in Him as I did in my GPS device? Am I ok with knowing where I am but not necessarily knowing where I might be next week or next year?

Take a look at the following verses:

Psalm 73: 21-24
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Psalm 31: 14-16
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

In Job 38 God reminds Job that He is in complete control by asking Job a series of questions that none of us could answer yes to:

16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. 19 "What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 20 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

Rest assured that God is in complete control of our lives. Even when we see no evidence, when we do not know where we are going or how we are going to get there. When it is dark and rainy and very difficult to see, He is in complete control. A couple of my favorite verses are found in the book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 1: 5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah 29: 11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Never fear, the lovely lady inside the GPS said "Re-Calculating" and showed me my next turn. We eventually made it to Wal-Mart and even got the tent on sale. We eventually made it back and were able to use our new tent to stay dry as we tailgated before the game.

Rest assured that wherever you are in life's journey, whether you think you are on the right road or not, God knows exactly where you are. He may not tell you exactly where you are going but He knows where you are and will guide you to where He wants you to end up.

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