Monday, August 29, 2011

God's Path is not Always the Easy Way

Today I am once again pressed for time due to all of the issues surrounding Hurricane Irene.  I just want to spend a few moments reflecting on that experience.  As you know, after much prayer and consideration, my wife and I decided to ride out the storm at home.  We were about 1/2 mile past the evacuation zone and things were predicted to get very very bad.  Many who were more inland and further away from the storm had offered us a refuge should we need it.  We decided that home is where God wanted us to be and that is where we stayed.  The verse that comes to mind in our decision was one that we all know from Proverbs.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Sometimes even when we are on God's path there are moments of doubt.  Please do not ever think that following God will not mean tests of faith as we are confronted with situations that either cause us to stretch our faith or cause us to question whether or not we took the right path to begin with.  I was in such a situation this weekend.  There was a time on Saturday night when there was a steady stream of tornado warnings coming over a steady stream of Emergency Broadcast System cut ins to our television.  One of the tornadoes was very close and I counted down the minutes until it would be at its closest.  It was during this time where I really questioned just how well we listened to God in our decision to stay.  We have no basement to hide in, not real sturdy piece of furniture to hide under, and no where to run to with the time we had.  I took my wife's hand and prayed. 

Eventually that band of storms passed and we breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The rest of the storm was without incident and we even managed to sleep through the worst part of it.  In the end, we had no damage to speak of, no power loss, no cell phone loss, no internet loss, and no cable loss.  All in all it was absolutely the right decision.  Ironically, the "safer" placed we could have evacuated to were either flooded, or lost power, or both.  In other words, no matter what things may be looked like before and during the storm, staying was 100% the right decision. 

The point that I am making is that if you pray and if you are sure that God is leading you in a direction, you must stick with it even when times get tough.  Letting God lead your steps means you will get to where He wants you to be, but it may not be in the way you thought.  I am sure the Israelites did not think they would walk across a parted Red Sea and we know that they questioned the decision to follow Moses.  I am sure that Abraham did not know how God would provide him children through the son he was called to sacrifice, yet he went up to the mountain as God had told him.  And let us not forget about Paul who could have been set free, but under God's direction he appealed to Caesar, was shipwrecked, spent time in prison twice, and was ultimately executed.  The Bible is full of stories of those whose faith was tested as they traversed the path laid out for them by God.  Sometimes that path is easy, but often it is not, but it always the right path.  So not matter what circumstances may tell you or how hard at times it may seem, if you know you are on God's path for your life it is where you need to be.  Surely there will be obstacles, bumps, setbacks, tests of faith and will, and even some doubt from time to time, but in the end you will end up right where you were created to be. 
The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds [him with] His hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV

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