A winding path through a wooded area is a very peaceful thought to many people. However, place that same path in an unknown African jungle and anxiety will usually edge out any relaxing imagery.
The human experience compares nicely to a path. The approach we take to our life determines how we view our journey. Is it a trek through a jungle far away in an unknown land with dangers at every turn, or simply a stroll in the familiar woods behind our house?
God has a plan for our lives – He leaves no doubt about that. The words of David assure us, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Ps. 139:16 NIV). God already knows each day of our lives and exactly how and when our lives will come to a close. The fact that we don’t have the same information He does bothers most people. We DON’T know what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Not knowing what we’re in for leaves the mind with a void too easily filled with ideas of tigers, snakes, and who-knows-what around the next bend in the trail.
Ultimately I believe that not knowing is exactly where God wants us to be. If we knew every twist, every rut or root in the path that might trip us up, we wouldn’t need Him. It is only when we look at our lives and the myriad of directions each one of us can take, that our faith has a chance to grow – day by day, step by step along the path. God wants us to make an adventure out of our life, an adventure in which we lean on Him as our trail guide. He doesn’t want us trudging along the trail by ourselves with no map, machete in hand, hacking at vines and limbs while keeping an eye out for the hungry tiger waiting to pounce.
With Jesus as our companion on life’s path, we are assured the outcome. “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of GodÃ¢Â?Â¦God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:5,11 NIV). We will never know what waits for us over the next rise in the trail. It may be the death of a loved one, financial problems, or health concerns. But we also may find a true friend, a dream job, or a loving, caring family. If we keep our eyes on God while we experience the highs, as well as the lows in life, our faith in Him will develop day by day – “the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (Jas. 1:3 NIV).
We must diligently seek the Lord, leaning on him as our sole provider and protector. Then when we reach the end of our path – the end of our life on this earth – it will have been our faith in a loving, caring God that sustained us step by step.