My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path. (Is 3:12b)
Recently, at our midweek house church, we talked about how hard it is to have a good marriage, because we don’t get good examples of it from the media or society. Instead, we get false expectations. So we seek to have the Leave it To Beaver or the Chip and Joanna marriage where everything seems idyllic. We think we should always be romanced. And we don’t realize that a good marriage requires constant self sacrifice and servanthood.
And that’s why this verse hits home with me today. It’s so true that we are surrounded by false guides, and this can lead us astray.
This morning, I was feeling sad. I prayed about it over and over, asking God to help me with my low spirits. Finally, I remembered my last blog, about how there is value in learning. So I asked God, “What can I learn from this?”
And an answer came to me. It was a breakthrough. I need to learn that life isn’t permanent and fixed. It’s more like song says about God, “You give and take away.”
I want to build stability by adding things I think will be solid and lasting. But that’s not the nature of this world. People die at all ages. Friends move, or move on. Things break. Disasters happen. Changes take place. It’s so true, what Jesus said, “In this world you will have many troubles.” (John 16:33)
I totally relate to Jonah, who had a wonderful God-given vine that grew up and gave him shade, and then got an attitude when God took it away.
I want my shelter! I’m trying to build this secure life, and my vines keep shriveling!
The thing is, I got mislead in what I thought my life should be. I fell into the thinking that security comes from the people and things around me, instead of solely from God.
Literally, today’s verse reads, “Your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.”
That is so true for me. The course of my path to live righteously got swallowed up.
A lot of roads were “swallowed up” in the latest hurricane.
That picture really does feel like what happened to me in my mind. The path that was so clear became unclear.
So here’s one way I’m going to try and find the path again. I’m going to listen for that phrase, “But I’m trying so hard.” Because if I tell myself that, it’s become about my efforts, and not God’s. I’ have to recalibrate towards God.
You know, one surprising thing I’m learning about life coaching as I study it, is that when you do it right, it isn’t hard work. It’s more like a dance. As you converse with your client, you listen hard, and then respond to their “steps,” and this naturally leads you to make “countersteps.”
I think life needs to be more that. It needs to be like a dance with God, where we focus completely on God, and then respond to what he is doing.
I get off track because I start focusing on other voices, especially my own inner voice of fear and need, and stop focusing completely on God. I find myself living my life like I’m constantly blazing a trail through a thicket. It feels clunky, not graceful; rough, not smooth.
It’ doesn’t have to be so hard. Let’s stay in the flow, by keeping our eyes on the Lord. He is is our only source of security, the only place to find the answers we need.