The Lord is My Guide

“The Lord your God…went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.”  Deuteronomy 1:32-33

How do you get to a place you’ve never been if you don’t know the way or how long the journey may take or what you will encounter as you travel?

The uncertainty of the future is something we all grapple with at some point in our lives.  No matter how well-thought out our plans may be, life is full of the unexpected and the unknown.   A woman wakes up a wife, and lays down the same night a widow.   A husband and father clears out his desk wondering how he will provide for his family tomorrow.  A family loads the last of their belongings into a truck and drives away from a “foreclosure” sign in their front yard.  A difficult diagnosis, a child in serious trouble, a spouse who walks away – we all will face life-altering situations.  Real life on this rock is full of unforeseen twists and turns. “What do I do now?” “Where do we go from here?”  “How will I cope with this?” It’s pretty unnerving to not know what’s up ahead.

I understand this uncertainty-I have recently experienced it in my own life.  As I prayed and sought God’s Word for direction, I was impressed with a couple of thoughts I’d like to share with you.

God is our guide along the way – “[The Lord] leads me…He guides me…” (Psalm 23: 2, 3)

I am an American History buff, and I especially enjoy stories of explorers like Lewis and Clark, who traversed and mapped out much of the North American continent.  Their mission was successful in part because they had experienced guides, generally Native Americans, to lead them and to help them steer away from trouble.  An effective guide has to know where he’s going and what dangers may be ahead. He has to know the safest places to cross a river or camp for the night, and who is friendly to strangers passing through.  A good guide knows the end of the journey as well as the beginning. God is a faithful and perfect guide, because He knows the destination, He knows the path we need to take, and He knows the challenges we will encounter.  He knows how to help us through dangerous territory, and the best place to stop and rest.  God has already planned the way we need to take and knows every step along the way. We need not fear, only follow closely, confident of His leading.

God is always with us – “The Lord your God will be with you where you go.” (Joshua 1:9)        A good guide stays close to his travelers.  Even though the guide must lead from the front of the pack, he never gets too far away from them.  He knows that his charges may get lost if they cannot see him.  A good guide carefully watches his company and knows when they need to stop and rest or when someone may be in need of help. Likewise, God knows we need the comfort of His presence as we make our way through unknown territory.  He knows we will become afraid or wander from the path if we lose sight of Him.  He is carefully attentive to us, knowing when we need encouragement, strength and help. His promise to Joshua is one of the most precious in all of Scripture, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) We must trust His promise and believe He is right beside us.

 God will provide along the way – “These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” Deuteronomy 2:7

A good guide make sure his company has all they need to survive the long journey ahead. Because he has taken the route before, he knows the best hunting areas, where to find fresh water and those ripe, juicy berries.  As He guided them through the wilderness, God provided the Israelites with water (Exodus 15:22-25; 17:1-6), food (Exodus 16:4; Numbers 11:31-32) and even kept their clothes from wearing out – for forty years (Deuteronomy 29:5).  He has infinite resources to meet all our needs and He loves to care for His children.  I love Isaiah 49:10 that says, “He will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.”  Jesus reminds us that our Heavenly Father knows all our needs, and is committed to provide all things for us if we will trust in Him (Matthew 6:25-33)

Whatever you are facing today, whatever unknowns loom large before you, God knows the way.   He has promised to be with you, to care for you, and to lead you all the way through. Listen to Psalm 48:14 – “For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our Guide even to the end.” This is a Guide that you can trust.

Where is God leading us?  What is at the end of this journey?

“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

He is leading us Home.

My Father, my Guide; I cannot see what tomorrow holds; but I know Who holds tomorrow.  Take my hand and lead me God, for I trust in You.   Amen.

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