Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”
There have been many times throughout our lives that we have come to crossroads which have made us wonder which way to go. There are so many distractions along this road of life that we can sometimes become confused as to what we are supposed to be doing. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father has placed “road signs” along the way to give guidance and help us find our way. For example, there is the “STOP” sign, which is pretty emphatic. God often places that sign in our path so that we will do just that, “STOP!” He seems to say to us, “STOP, take a moment to rest and wait for Me to instruct you when to go on ahead.”
Of course there is the railroad crossing sign that says, “STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN”. Here again the Lord is saying to us, “Pause in your busy day and look at Me and listen.” I know He has to use that one with me quite often because I have a tendency to fill my day with too much activity and not enough time for looking in to the eyes of Jesus and listening to what He wants to say to me. He places His warning sign in my path to remind me that there are dangers ahead and I had better be watching and listening for His instruction!
How about the “YIELD” sign? That’s one of the more difficult ones to follow. Why? Because it tells us to YIELD to the other guy…to prefer others first…to give in to someone else’s thought or idea. When the Lord puts a YIELD sign in my path, I realize I have to give up the fight and YIELD to His will. My human nature recoils against yielding to anyone else, but when I finally let go and YIELD to God’s will, I can relax and let Him lead the way.
Along the highway of life we often see the “MERGE” sign. It instructs us to blend in with the flow of traffic and keep on going. In the ministry and in life in general we have to “blend in” with the people God has called us to serve, not run ahead or behind, but become one with them. This can often be a difficult task if our cultural backgrounds are really different or if we have the idea that we are unique and special. I call it the “I gotta be me!” attitude. As servants of Christ in the family of God there really is no room for egocentrism. We have to be willing to unite our hearts and minds with the people to whom we are ministering if they are going to be able to identify with us and with our Lord. This could certainly apply to our families and co-workers as well.
Then there are the “NO U TURN” signs, usually right where I was hoping to be able to turn around and head in the other direction! Oh! Why does God do that to me? Doesn’t He understand that I don’t want to go any further? Can’t He see that I need to turn around and head back to where I was safe and secure? No, God isn’t cruel and uncaring for my needs. But He has a plan for me to keep forging ahead. To turn back too soon might cause me to miss the blessing of reaching our destination. I say our destination, meaning God’s and mine together, the place of joy and completion to my journey that He has prepared for me. If I’ll just stay on the road, He’ll get me there safely and happily.
Perhaps the most disconcerting sign while traveling any distance is the “DETOUR” sign. We are going along our chosen route just fine when all of a sudden a DETOUR sign shows up! We have to endure the inconvenience of getting off the known path and venturing through unknown territory and possibly not reaching our destination on time. However, if we choose to ignore the DETOUR sign and keep going on the way we thought best, we would find that we had made a big mistake. God often places DETOUR signs in our path that we can’t understand at that time. But when we reach the end of the road, if we could look back and see what would have occurred had we chosen to ignore God’s DETOUR signs, we would rejoice that He was in control and forced us to choose a better way!
Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Thank you, Lord, for Your guidance along my highway of life. Thank you for the “STOP” signs, the reminders to “STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN”; the gentle nudges to “YIELD” and “MERGE” with our co-workers, spouses, and friends. Thank you that you kept me from making that “U-TURN” in the road when it was really best for me to keep forging ahead, and then also for the “DETOURS” that I just couldn’t understand at the time. Help me to stay on the path that YOU have chosen for my life and not be distracted by the billboards that could lead to destruction. Amen.
What about you? Have you experienced some of these "road signs" in your life? Have you ever thought about the consequences you may have suffered if you had chosen not to obey these signs? If, perhaps, these "detours" in your life have led you to a new and better destination...think about that...and if you can, share it with us! My prayer for you as you travel on the road of your life is that you will enjoy the journey and arrive safely!