Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there! Psalm 77:19
Have you ever found yourself on a road that you didn’t intend to be traveling? It can be surprising, challenging, and maybe even a little scary at times.
I am not known for my skills with directions. Or even driving. As a matter of fact, I’m more known for my lack of ability to follow driving directions.
My sisters and I were supposed to sing at an event in North Alabama about a year ago, and for some reason, we all decided that I should be the one to supply the directions. Yes, me. I’m not sure what prompted this sudden lack of sense on all of our parts, but it happened, and we all relied on myself to provide directions to the event.
Well, in keeping with tradition, did I decide to check my GPS for directions to this tiny town in rural Alabama? Or maybe Google maps? Nope. I used MapQuest. Yes…Yes, I did. Now, I’m not sure about your past experience with MapQuest, which was great in it’s beginning stages of online use about 16 YEARS AGO. But in the twisting, winding country roads of my great state, MapQuest can quickly land you at an old pumphouse when you were really headed to an amusement park.
Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
So I printed off (yes, printed off) MapQuest directions to the event and as soon as we left the well-known highways of home, we got lost. Further and further we drove. The worst part is, at first we didn’t realize we were on the wrong path. See…we sing while we drive. Like three-part harmony singing. Close-your-eyes-and-belt-it-out singing (except for the driver 🙂 ). And there we were, singing our hearts out and driving our way off of any MapQuest path there ever was!
When we realized we were lost, there was no way that MapQuest could help us. We stopped singing and started looking. An uneasiness crept in, followed by a full on panic that we wouldn’t make our event, followed by another full on panic that we’d never find our way out. We had to call on our contact at the event when we finally found a fledgling signal. A contact who–at first–couldn’t even figure out where we were! He asked us to call out landmarks. There was some grass, some trees, pastures, a few stray cows, and a road. That was all.
It was not a good feeling.
Finally–FINALLY!–we saw a sign for the “town” we were in, though I use the word “town” pretty loosely here. We told our contact the town, and he said, “How in the world did you end up there?!?” He enlisted the help of several friends at the event, much to our dismay. They were all gathered around his phone, calling out roads and turns. By the voices of those who knew the terrain, we were led to a path that you wouldn’t even know existed. Once we landed on this wonderful, rutted, potholed path, we reached our destination in what seemed like a few minutes, and relief enveloped us all.
And that’s the story of how Paige was never asked for directions again.
Friends, have you ever ended up on a strange path? Have you ever been in so deep that you saw no landmarks? Nothing familiar? Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re headed in that direction.
It can start with a stray thought. A thought we have no business inviting in. Without realizing it, the thought takes root and sprouts into small actions. Small actions become big ones, and all of a sudden we look around and don’t even recognize where we are or how we got there. We’ve left the familiar highways of home and we’ve ended up on a strange path. How do we get back?
It can start with a trial in our lives or in the lives of our loved ones. We can end up on a path we never asked to travel. One full of despair. We can be surrounded by the unknown, by fear, and by doubts. How do we get back?
It can even start with obedience! God can call us out to a place that we didn’t intend in our own plans to go to. It can be exciting. It can be challenging. It can even be a bit scary. We wonder, If I go down this path can I still get back home?
Here’s the thing. No matter what path you are on, no matter how you got there, how far you have gone, or how deep you are in, HE can get you back home again. HE knows the terrain. God can get you back by using a path that no one even knew was there.
He did it time and time again in the Bible. We are reminded of how He brought the Israelites towards home in the Psalms. “Your road led through the seas, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there.”
The Israelites were surrounded by Pharaoh’s army. And by oppression of the past. And by doubts. And a sea.
Friends, the whole time they traveled, their path was right there, under the mighty waters. No one even knew it existed.
He knew. He could’ve gotten them out on any road. And He chose the sea. The path cleared before their eyes, and He got His children across and on the path towards home.
What path are you on today? Are you lost? Are you troubled by sin, by despair, by sickness? Are you on a new path of new opportunities, but it’s still one that’s unfamiliar? No matter where you are, He can get you where you need to be.
He can get you home, lost one.
He can get you well, sick one.
He can get you to the next open door, hopeful one.
He can get you from the impossible to the possible.
Listen for His voice, because of all the twisty, tangled roads in this world, His is best, and it’s usually right before our eyes. Listen carefully, look closely, and tread confidently. He’ll lead you to the greatest places.
On a path you didn’t even know was there.