Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Beautiful Life"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (NIV 2011)
I live in the country, on the outskirts of a village of about 1,300 people. Our house is on a main road leading into the village, and although there are street lights in the village, they end just before our house. When I take the dogs out at night for their evening constitutional, I face a choice when I get to the end of my driveway: I can turn left and head away from town, with no streetlights, or I can turn right and head into town, with streetlights. At this time of year, when it gets dark so early, it makes quite a difference!
A few nights ago, as I was standing at the end of the driveway making my choice, it occurred to me that this is a great metaphor for our lives in Christ. Consider the many choices that we make every day, probably dozens or hundreds, from major decisions down to the many small decisions that make up everyday life. We can make those decisions blindly and hope for the best, or we can make those decisions in the light of Christ, using Scripture as our foundation and prayer as our guide.
On some evenings, my choice is made for me by other factors, and I have to turn left, away from town. What happens next depends on the evening, for the degree of darkness depends on how much light there is from other sources. Sometimes, there is moonlight or starlight; sometimes, there is snow on the ground reflecting whatever other light there is; sometimes, I'm fortunate and have remembered to take a flashlight. The important thing is that in order to stay safe, I need to use whatever light sources that are available to me.
Isn't that also like the rest of life? Whatever decisions that we are facing, whether they feel like "black and white", and the path seems clear, or whether they are characterized by "shades of grey", and everything feels ambiguous and uncertain, we should be using all the tools available to us. And let's face it: our faith in Christ and the teachings in Scripture are the best tools of all!
Prayer: Loving God, thank You for always being there for us, helping us through our lives. We face decisions all the time, and sometimes, we forget that we don't have to make them on our own and that You are there to help us. Help us to look to You and to Your Word for direction and support. We pray in Jesus' holy name. Amen.