The Straight Path
The Straight Path
Have you ever come face to face with the profound question; now what am I going to do? I am not talking about the day-to-day application of this question where you might decide you are hungry, or interested in going out for the night. I am talking about the moment when this question hits you square in the gut as a result of a major life change. It happened to me several months ago, and despite my professed trust in God, I found myself searching for an answer. Lord, what am I going to do now?
My story began to unfold several months before I actually faced the reality of this question. I had previously stepped into the role of Chief Strategy Officer at the company where I had spent most of my professional career. This position was responsible for developing growth plans for the future, and working with our teams to make those plans a reality. Shortly after I transitioned into the role, challenges began to surface. I struggled to establish a clear vision for my team, and I wasn’t able to fully transition out of my previous job. After six months of limping along in the new role, it was obvious that it was not working for me or for the organization. Our C.E.O. and I sat down to discuss changes that needed to be made, and we were able to come up with a plan that made a lot of sense for the company. Unfortunately, in the process, it became clear there was not a good role for me. Just like that I found myself working out my final few weeks and ultimately saying goodbye to a great career and a group of people that I truly loved. It was at that point the question hit me hard; now what am I going to do?
Have you ever faced one of those moments where your future went from crystal clear, to clear as mud? Maybe your moment was the result of a career change like mine, or some other significant life interruption that forced you to face a future you never anticipated. Those moments will typically draw a person closer to God, or very quickly turn them away as they wrestle with the fear of change. Thankfully, the Bible offers us powerful truths that can serve as lights when everything in front of us looks dark and scary. Consider these two verses and the main points they teach us when it comes to an uncertain future:
Proverbs 3:5-6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
God can be trusted. Throughout the Bible, the theme of trusting God is evident. He authored every one of our days; the ones that are behind us, which we know very well, but also, every day in front of us. On top of that, Romans 8:28 tells us that, “God causes all things to work for good for those who love Him, and for those who are called according to His purpose.” (NLT) Everything that happens is intended for our good, no matter how it might feel in the moment. If God knows what’s coming and He has our best interest in mind, then where else would we place our trust? He will handle it, and we simply need to let Him work.
Our understanding is limited. Think about those times in your life where the emotion of the moment kept you from seeing any way out of your circumstances. We live in our own worlds, and this truth often limits our ability to understand there is purpose behind our situation. Add to that what Isaiah wrote about when he said (55:8-9), “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine…so my ways are higher than your ways…” (NLT) We simply can’t know all that God is doing during changing circumstances.
But, the final portion of Proverbs 3:6 offers the most compelling encouragement! It says, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)
God is ready to show us the way. When we actively seek Him, He will show us the path--He wants to show us the path. During challenging life changes, it is easy to slowly move away from God with the intent of getting ourselves back on track. If you lose a job, you start the search right away. If you suffer a major financial set-back, you start to plan for recovery. In many cases we want to get right back in the driver’s seat of our lives. The truth may be that God is intending for you to do the exact opposite. He may be looking for you to surrender yourself more fully to what He wants to do in your life. Seeking Him through time in His word, and quiet prayer will open our hearts more fully to hear what He has to say. When our ears are open wide, we are ready to be shown which way to go. His promise is to make our path straight if we are ready to seek the path He has set for us.
As I write this blog, I am still in the midst of uncertainty. I am not sure what He has planned for me in the future. But, I do know that when I prioritize my pursuit of Him, I have the best chance of taking the path that He has set in place specifically for me!