Like many dogs, Jack loves to run and play in the woods. Finding any stick or log is a treasure to him. It’s sheer happiness to me, also, just to watch his delight in his discovery. He bravely jumps puddles, climbs the banks, and runs with abandon into the unknown; but once in a while he loses his way. Unsure, he suddenly looks to me, his body rigid with anticipation of my direction.
“This way, Jack,” I may say. Happily he obliges, following where I lead. Sometimes he starts down an unchartered path. He looks back, waiting, eyes locked on mine. “Go ahead, Jack,” I give my verbal agreement to his decision to explore what lies ahead.
When we first got Jack, he did none of the above. He just ran wild and often got himself into difficulty. As he has matured, he’s learned that keeping his eyes on me for direction, is actually to his own peace and joy.
How like Jack are we who know our Heavenly Father. So often we take off in a direction without first seeking Him for guidance. It’s to our own advantage to take time to ask Father if the way we are thinking of going is the right way. The more we practice asking and listening, the sharper our spiritual ears to properly discern His guidance. Like a loving Shepherd, He will always lead us along the right paths.
The way may be a steep climb at times, but Father will be nearby to give us a hand to pull us up. The way may seem fearful, but the Holy Spirit will keep us remembering the promises that Father will never leave us or abandon us. The way may be a complete surprise; something we never gave any thought toward. As long as we hear Father say, “this way, my child,” or “not now, dear one,” or “no, that way, my treasured one,” then we are going the right way.
Always remember, we are never alone on our walks in life. The Good Shepherd is forever with us, watching our every step, guiding us in every direction. All we need do is seek Him with all our heart. Then we will have His own understanding. Then joy and peace will be ours no matter the paths that are ahead. This is His promise to all who seek Him.
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him — though He is not far from anyone of us.” Acts 17:27
“…Keep on seeking and you will find…” Matthew 7:7