I remember one particular trip back from London to Cheltenham. It had been a long day of hard work, conducting interviews for our Women's Business Magazine, driving from one side of London to the other and back again. Lorah and I were travelling back late at night and were desperate to get home. My back hurt so much from sitting in the car for so long that I had to lean forward over the steering wheel in a funny position to relieve the pain. I was exhausted and the drive home felt like an eternity. THEN IT HAPPENED! I accidentally took a wrong turn on the motorway. I can't tell you how my heart sank! The worst part was that it was a long drive to the nearest roundabout to get back in the right direction. There was a metal barrier between the two sections of the motorway and no way to turn around and get back on track. I was stuck going in the wrong direction and there was nothing I could do about it except keep going IN THE WRONG DIRECTION! I can't tell you how horrible it felt to be driving away from my way home.
That is how I feel right now in my church journey. I feel like I took a wrong turn and am heading in the wrong direction but there is no way to fix it, I simply have to keep going in the wrong direction until I reach the next opportunity to turn around. Then I can turn and start heading back towards the original intersection that I should have taken, to get towards my/God's goal.
The metaphor is clear, I have made a mistake, it is out of my control, I cannot do anything about it and I must keep going until the opportunity to correct it presents itself. The practical outworking is not quite so clear. What mistake did I make and when did I make it and how will know when I have come to my 'roundabout' to turn around. I guess this is where my previous post comes in. There is nothing I can do, so I simply have to stay snuggled in Jesus arms and He will carry me. Oh the theory and metaphors are great but it's another thing knowing how to put all this into practice. All I can do is keep close to Him and trust that He will not let me go astray.
The verse He gave me today was a mystery at first when I read Psalm 68:19 in my NKJV Bible: "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah"
But when I went to looked it up on the internet to copy and paste it here in this post I burst into tears, have a look at this version, the NIV: "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."
And if that wasn't enough to make it clear that God is speaking, see what the NLT says: "Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms."
Oh my goodness I cannot tell you how special this is to me, to know that I am not imagining all this - that He really and truly is with me and saying what I believe He is saying. Out of all the 31,102 verses in the Bible, what are the odds that I would turn to this one verse this morning? It is not coincidence, it is God confirming His word to me and perhaps somehow by reading this He is trying to tell you something too.
May God bless you today as you snuggle into His arms and accept the things that you simply cannot change. Keep driving and trust that He will show you the way. He is still God even when you are driving in the wrong direction! Let's end with a powerful prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Meditate on how close God is to you today with this beautiful song from Hillsong Empires.