Early this morning I was taking our dog, Jack, out for his first walk of the day. We strolled along a pathway around a little lake where moorhens and seagulls floated on water. Then we took a turn and headed into the neighbourhood, passing houses, turning in one direction and then another, until we were going back home.
I love to watch which way Jack will go. I let him choose the route. Some days he takes a shorter path. On other days he travels around longer blocks or zig zags from one side of the road to the other. He turns left at a crossroads or right or heads straight through. While I let him choose his way, I am always on the lookout for danger. If he gets too near the edge of the sidewalk I give a gentle tug and he comes back to the middle. If I see a large dog coming towards us (which will send Jack into imitations of the Hound of the Baskerville) I will lead him across the street to pass by on the other side.
It occurred to me this morning that our heavenly Father does the same thing with us. He has given us a mind to make decisions and freedom to make choices. He must love watching us as we determine which route to travel. We are just pilgrims passing through this life on our way to our eternal destiny. We plan, we choose, we go. All along the way our loving heavenly Father is on the lookout for danger. If we get too near the edge of making a wrong decision, the Holy Spirit gives a gentle tug. If we begin to cross the road when danger is coming, He will intervene, whispering warnings, sometimes creating road blocks, at other times opening paths we never knew existed. He is the master of leading us along the way. As Isaiah reminds us in 45:2-3, “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…and I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, so you will know that I, the Lord, who calls you by name, am the God of Israel.”
Let us not fear the routes of our daily lives. Let us not fear making wrong turns. Our Heavenly Father loves us with a passion that cannot be measured. He knows when our hearts are turned toward Him, that we desire to walk in His ways. He knows the intent of our hearts. Therefore, walk on with joy and anticipation, and see what God will do.
“He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10
A lovely gentle encouragement on the pilgrim journey!