“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11). I emphatically believe God has a plan for our lives. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes it is a little less clear, and other times we only see it with the wisdom of hindsight, but He always has our best interests at heart. The example I like to use to illustrate my point is driving a vehicle. At times the weather is clear. It is a beautiful summer day, and the sun is shining brightly. All the road signs are clear, and we can follow their directions easily unless we are distracted by the beautiful scenery or purposely disregard them. They will be a great help in leading us to our destination in the most timely and efficient manner. At other times it is like driving in the dark. We must slow down and pay more attention since we cannot see as clearly as early in the day. The signs might not be as easily visible, but if we look carefully, we will see them and still reach our destination, albeit a little slower. Yet other times, it rains, and driving becomes more hazardous. As the rain pelts down around us, we must pay meticulous attention to our surroundings lest we miss the signs. That requires us to drive even slower to make sure we see them, even though they have been made with reflective material to aid in observing them.
Then there are times, in dense fog, when the signs are there, but the weather has made it almost impossible to see, and we have to be very careful not to miss them. It is not that they have disappeared or fallen over, but they are almost invisible, even at short distances. The most dangerous of all is when there is ice on the road. The signs are visible, but the dangers of driving can distract us from our route and make us lose our way. During more difficult times, speed is the enemy of our progress and can result in us never reaching our destination. The last example is when we choose to go our own way, disregarding the signs and just “wing it.” We are convinced we know the way, so we stumble along, using only our “good sense of direction.” Of course, at times, our “good sense” is severely lacking, and we end up lost. We could even find ourselves in places we would rather not be. Stubbornly, we try to fix the problem ourselves, but we will become frustrated and angry unless we stop and pay attention to the signs or our GPS.
Slow down and look for the signs…they are there even if they don’t always appear to be. And, whatever you do, stay on the road…don’t try to take a shortcut without precisely knowing if it will allow you to reach your destination promptly. Don’t wing it through life. You have the Bible, and you have prayer – use them.