If I could fly on the wings of dawn, stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean–even there your hand would guide me; even there your strong hand would hold me tight! Psalm 139:10 CEB
If we’re honest, we’d rather live a trouble-free, peace-filled, comfortable life than voluntarily battle life’s crises, wouldn’t we? At least I would. Reality is, however, that in this life there is always trouble. Jesus promised that (John 16:33). Oh, it might be that we’re crusin’ through, happy-go-lucky, but eventually, “BOOM!” Something (or some things) completely upends our world.
Then, what do we do?
Try as we might to hear God in the midst of the clamor, we can’t. Suddenly, we’re blinded by the dust and swerve off the once-straight path we thought we were traveling. We start questioning God’s motives, thinking He’s got it all wrong or wondering where we wronged our faith; forgetting there’s an enemy on the loose and he’s engaged us in a fight.
We groan and moan over the ensuing injuries, calling in back up, allies in the cause. “Pray!” we cry. “For what?” our prayer warriors ask. We haven’t a clue. Protection? Rescue? Answers? Wisdom? Guidance? Yes, all of the above! Just pray. And with more heartache we just cry, “Jesus!” and pray the Holy Spirit interprets our hearts before the throne in our stead.
I’m in the battle now, even as I write. It’s not pretty and none of you would trade my troubles for your own. It’s real. It hurts. It’s exhausting. It challenges my faith. And yet, in the midst of it all, a prayer warrior offered me this picture from Psalm 139:10:
Wherever we go or whatever surrounds us, God’s hand guides and holds.
A few years back, a hot air balloon landed near my son’s home. Curious, he and his then, three kids, went to find it. Up close, as they discovered, the flames that create the balloon’s lift are loud and hot. The youngest boy clung to his father, afraid. His father’s strong arms held him close, protected him from harm. Once calmed and still holding tight, his father guided him closer to the presumed danger, until what was frightening became safe.
I’ve held onto that image of my son holding his little boy throughout this scary battle. While I can’t fathom the outcome, I only know God’s holding me tight, protecting me even in the midst of what seems dangerous. And, although I can’t see clearly through the battle dust, He’s reassured me that He’s clearing the path and guiding my every step. I bury myself in His Word, that will illuminate the way.
By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
put me together again with your Word. Psalm 119:105-107 (MSG)