Authored by Marie Story
Changes are awfully unsettling for me. I like my little nest, where everything is just so and nothing jostles me too much. I like my routines and schedules, the comfort of knowing what’s going on—both immediately and in the future.
All that was thrown up in the air recently when my husband and I found ourselves moving away from family and friends. We boxed up all of our belongings and drove toward our unknown future. We knew we needed to move, and we knew where we were going, but beyond that, the future was a big blank. And that was scary.
Maybe you’ve experienced something similar recently. Maybe everything you’ve known has been thrown up in the air, and you’re floundering, trying to find your footing. Maybe good friends have up and left, and you’re trying to go on with your life without their support. Maybe you’ve moved away from familiar surroundings and have to make new friends, learn a new culture, and maybe even a new language.
If you’re going through something like that, I do sympathize. Change is kinda exciting sometimes, but mostly it’s really tough. It’s tough leaving behind stuff you know and love, and it’s scary looking forward and not knowing what’s ahead. That’s the position I was in as we drove away from what had been “home” for the past eight years.
Our trip took us through mountain roads at night, and as we drove, thick fog set in. There were no lights near the road; no houses either. Just our headlights against the dark road shrouded in fog. The roads were poorly marked, and it seemed that we had taken a wrong turn. Great.
I squinted into the fog, leaning forward against my seat belt, trying to see where we were going. I couldn’t see a thing, of course, and I got more and more worried that we were going the wrong way. As I said, I don’t like uncertainty. All that was visible was the space that our headlights illuminated on the road.
Of course, my imagination went hyperactive, creating all kinds of awful scenarios. My mind conjured up images of steep cliffs, of being lost in the mountains—each scenario worse (and more unrealistic) than the last.
Finally I quit trying to see through the fog, and settled back in my seat. I looked over at my husband, and he was confidently driving on, not worried about the fog, but just slowly following the road that he could see.
Hey. I felt Jesus nudge me as I heard His familiar voice in my heart. I’m your driver, you know. You’re struggling to plan for your future, to “organize” everything just so, but right now I’ve put you in the fog. I’ve told you to go, but all you can see is the little bit of road ahead of you. I know this makes you worry, but just relax. Sit back and let Me do the driving.
I did just that. I sat back, and I trusted. We got safely through the fog and back on to clear roads again.
I thought about it all as we drove on. My life was exactly like that dark and clouded road. Try as I might, I couldn’t see what was ahead for my husband and me. No road lights were around—in the form of our family or friends—to help guide our way or to give their advice. All I could see was the light ahead of me, illuminating one little patch of the way at a time. But I can trust in my Driver. He’s got a perfect driving record, and He’s always gotten me safely to my destination, and though sometimes I think we’re lost, He always knows exactly where we’re headed.
Do you remember how God led the children of Israel through the desert?1 They didn’t have a map. They didn’t have a compass. They didn’t have an iPhone with built-in GPS telling them when to turn. Even if they had had those things, it wouldn’t have done much good, because they didn’t really know where they were going in the first place. All they knew was that they were supposed to leave Egypt.
While it couldn’t have been fun being slaves, maybe it was tough for some of the Israelites to leave their life in Egypt, seeing as it was all they knew. Maybe some of them had friends back home, or at least they had food to eat and a place to live—and no chance of unemployment.
But God said “Go!” and off they went. As they obeyed and followed after Him, He took care of them. When they ran into a dead end at the Red Sea, He opened a road for them right through the water. When they ran out of food and got hungry, He sent them food straight from the sky. When they were thirsty, He poured water out of a dry rock. When they didn’t know which way to go, He put a cloud right in front of them to lead the way.
Yet even after all that, they still doubted God. They still complained and didn’t trust Him to take care of them. I never understood why; it was obvious that God had been with them all along. Why would they question His abundance and care after He showed them again and again what He was capable of? But then, I end up doing the same thing. God has never failed me. I’ve always had a roof over my head, food to eat, water to drink, and yet I still end up fretting when things aren’t clearly mapped out ahead.
Proverbs 3:5–6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”2 That means that even if everything’s dark ahead, if you feel like you’re in a fog and you don’t know which way to go, if you acknowledge—or turn to—the Lord, He’ll guide your paths. He’ll keep you on the right track, and bring you through to your personal “Promised Land.”
As I was getting ready to make this big move, I came across a verse that I had never read before. It’s Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ the Lord says, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”3 Now that’s a promise! He has plans for you! He’s gonna prosper you! He wants to give you hope and a future! Isn’t that great? I’ve held on to that promise all throughout the past months, and guess what? God has come through!
The future still isn’t totally clear, and I know it may never be. I’m not sure how everything’s gonna turn out in the end, but you know, that’s okay. I know who’s in control, and I know His plan is perfect.
So if you’re anything like me—a little lost, and freaking out because you don’t know what’s ahead—settle down and remember who’s in the driver’s seat. You may not be able to see the road through the fog, but He can, and He’ll bring you safely through to your destination.
1 Exodus chapters 12-40.
2 New King James Version.
3 New International Version.
Read by Amber Larriva. Music by Simon W. Copyright © 2011 by The Family International