“The LORD will continually lead you; he will feed you even in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength, and you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that continually produces water” (Isaiah 58:11, New English Translation).
Have you ever thought how great it would be to know the future, to see what lies ahead in your life? Or do you find that thought a little scary? Psychologists say most people prefer not to know their future, whether thinking of the good things or the difficult things that might be coming their way. I’m sure there are times we’d all like to see a little farther down the road, hoping for better things ahead.
I once lived in an area which seemed to have more power outages than other neighborhoods, possibly due to the numerous large trees near power lines. I learned to keep flashlights in strategic spots around the house for those times. To make my way through the dark rooms, I would shine the light downward just ahead of my feet. If I aimed it high across the room, I might miss something on the floor and stumble. The same holds true when walking a dark path in the woods. We watch where to place our feet as we take the next step and keep the light low. Perhaps David thought of this when he wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV). As I heard in a recent sermon, God is a lamp to our feet, not a spotlight. He shows us one step at a time.
Why do you think God only shows us the path just in front of us rather than the whole road? Only He knows the full story, but here are two possible reasons.
Not knowing allows us to learn trust.
Difficult times allow us to learn and to grow. Our character is also revealed in how we embrace the good times in life. Both seasons allow us to discover new things about ourselves and gain maturity. Both allow us to develop our faith and dependence on God, although in different ways.
Not knowing gives us the joy of surprise.
Why is a wrapped gift more exciting than someone just handing us the same item unwrapped? The joy of surprise and discovery. God does that when He brings good gifts into our lives. He wants to surprise us with joy.
I may never see beyond the next step, but that’s okay. The future will hold disappointments and heartache, but I will also find times of laughter and happiness somewhere around the bend. It doesn’t matter where the path leads as long as God is on the path with me. Psalm 37:23-24 promises, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (NKJV).
As you walk your path, don’t be discouraged if the light on your feet only shows the next step or two. Take comfort that the light will reveal what you need to know in this present moment. As the old hymn tells us, I know who holds tomorrow. And that’s sufficient!
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand
(Lyrics from “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” by Ira F. Stamphill)
Prayer: God, remind me each day that You are walking this path with me. I feel loved and secure in that knowledge.