Authored by Janet Kluck (a guest contribution)
Have you ever been faced with a tough decision and wrestled to find the right path? If you are a member of the human race, I am pretty sure your answer would be a resounding “Yes!” I think we have all been there at one time or another and know how scary it can be to face the risks or consequences should we make the wrong turn.
I am reminded of a time, quite a few years ago, when I had barely begun my journey as a volunteer missionary. I was faced with a big decision about moving from one place to another. I had little experience taking huge steps of faith, such as the one I was considering, and was not at all walking in faith. Instead, I was fretting and fearful of getting out of God’s will. I struggled for days with this decision. The Lord answered by giving me a simple vision.
It was a picture of a little girl who held on to her Father’s hand as He walked. All the while this girl was fearfully begging her Father to hold on to her and not let go! “Please, Daddy, please, don’t let go of my hand!” On and on she went, until finally her Father stopped, knelt down, and looked straight into her eyes. With a very firm but loving voice, He told her that He would never let go of her, that as long as she wanted to stay close to Him, He would always lead her and walk beside her.
I got the point, of course, and made my decision to move. Since then, I have encountered many times of decision when I struggled with fear of the outcome, or fear of making a mistake or going astray. But whenever I am faced with an important decision like this, this vision always comes back to me. It has been very comforting. It seems that as much as we desire to make the best decisions for our lives, we will find ourselves often looking back to those times when we obviously didn’t. But even in our mistakes, we can be comforted to know that He promised He would not leave us or forsake us!1
Sometimes I think we have this false idea of what being on the right track or in God’s will is. I am still finding out that it is just staying close to Him and asking Him to guide my life. Life is full of wrong turns and missteps. Sometimes we zig when we should zag, but the journey of our lives would ultimately be boring without the challenges of finding our way. It’s really what following God is all about!
He didn’t promise to prevent us from making mistakes or taking a wrong turn, but He has promised that He is with us through it all. So let’s just keep holding His hand as we travel the paths of our life. On the lonely and rugged mountain trails, He is our companion. On the trek through the desert, when we thirst and feel the dryness of life and wonder when (and if!) we will find the oasis, He is bringing us closer to Him each step we take. When we push through the crowds and confusion of day-to-day life and struggle against endless questions, weariness, and discouragement, He walks beside us and tells us, “I am here. Talk to Me; tell Me all about it.”
What a comfort to remember that no matter what we are facing, or how difficult the trial, He is here to walk us through it!
Sometimes the more dangerous territory for us can be when things seem to be going just fine and we have found our stride. Things are looking up and our tendency is not to have that same desperation for His presence. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in a place where our principles and integrity are put to the test, and unexpectedly, a defining moment arises in our life. We recognize that it will cost us to hold fast to what we know to be truth, rather than to simply “go with the flow.” It’s at these times that we might need His help even more, to help us to stay true to who He knows we are and what we stand for.
And let’s say we do fall, we blow it, and mess up—like so many of His followers that have slipped, tripped, and fallen on their way through life’s journey. Does He ever give up on us?
No! Of course not. The thought would never even cross His ever-loving and forgiving mind.
Then why do we worry and fret so?
If we can even just try to “acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths.”2 That’s His promise—and He keeps His promises. No matter what decisions we face or how scary they might be, I can sincerely say that I have never regretted holding on to His hand!
1 See Hebrews 13:5
2 Proverbs 3:6
Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2013 by The Family International