When my boys were little, I loved taking them for walks into woods to discover all that they held…bugs, big trees, different colored leaves, all of it I found was a great palette for discovering about God’s world. It was a time when we didn’t rush; we took our time to look up close at bark, at the moss growing on the trunk, on the ants we saw crawling up and down.
We live in a world where everything is always rush, rush, rush. I miss those days when we took our time to explore and discover.
Those days when my boys and I would go for our discovery walks, we’d often go back and forth, sometimes forward, sometimes back and sometimes side to side. The boys would follow which ever direction I led them. They trusted me. They knew I wasn’t going to lead them somewhere that wasn’t for their benefit.
Isn’t that what God does with us?
Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.”
God leads us in ways that are always for our benefit; sometimes the road is straight and sometimes the road is crooked. Sometimes we move up and forward and sometimes we go down or backward. We can’t see very far in front of us because the road is windy and we can’t see around the bend. And although it sure doesn’t feel like it at the time, the crooked road is usually for our benefit or at a minimum will be used for our good. In fact, God’s Word reminds us that we are to only look at the steps directly in front of us. We are to focus on the next step, not the steps that are 20 feet ahead. Perhaps God knows there are going to be some bugs in the road and He wants to make sure we’re prepared for them. Maybe there’s a pothole in the road, and He wants to make sure we have the necessary tools to make it through, to repair the damage that’s going to result. Maybe there’s a hill we’re going to have to climb, and He wants to make sure we’re thoroughly nourished for the journey. We don’t know which it’s going to be, but God does and so we need to let Him lead.
Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
During those times when the road is crooked, we are to trust that God’s desire for us is for good, that His love for us is greater and deeper than we could ever imagine, and that God wants us to take our time and discover Him and the lessons He has for us along the way. There are times when we aren’t supposed to rush, but to instead stop, wonder and believe, just like a child does when they go for a walk. Enjoy the winding road because an always straight path might be predictable but it would also be boring and wouldn’t help build us up and require us to rely on the One true lover of our souls.
So enjoy the journey wherever you find yourself today. Truly take the time to discover and know that the road will straighten out again, that even though some days it looks dark and gloomy as you walk through the woods on a cloudy day, when you come out the other side the clouds will part, the sun will shine and there will be new things to discover and enjoy.
May you discover that you are loved, you are cherished, you are His.