Psalm 16:11 ~ You will show me the path of life.
I got off the phone with my daughter the other day and just laughed outloud! She had called me to see if I could help her figure out how to get to my mother's house cause she had taken a wrong turn. She has a GPS on her cell phone, so I asked her if she had put Grandma's address into the navigation system. She said yes, but that the direction it was telling her to take didn't sound right and she could see a bridge that looked familiar. Not being able to see what she could see, I told her to trust the GPS and follow it's directions, even though what she could see seemed to make more sense than what the GPS was telling her to do. "OK", she said as we hung up. I called her a little later to be sure she got where she was going. She got where she was going, and she also told me that after we hung up she ignored my advice, turned off the GPS and went her own way. She was sure it was wrong and she was right!
After I enjoyed a good laugh at the strong willed nature of my daughter, I couldn't help but think of how God must find similar amusement at my strong willed ways. How many times has God shown me the path of life and I have tuned Him out so that I could follow the path I had in my sights.
Before marriage, before children, and before the path of life I am now walking, I was walking a path I was sure was the one that would take me to the end of my days. I was pursuing a career in music and enjoying every moment of it. At one point, I was working as a singer/dancer on a cruise ship. And it was here that I began making decisions about my future career, who I would marry, and so on. However, I wasn’t seeking God in any of this.
I was saved early in my teen years, but with little discipling, I had not developed a relationship with my savior. So, the thought of seeking His will and His direction was foreign to me. I began walking down a path for my life that wasn't anywhere near the one God had planned for me. And the further I went down my path, the further God was from my thoughts.
However, because my Father loves me so much, He reached down one day, picked me up and brought me home so that I could be guided back to His side.
Oh…I can say it like that now…but in all honesty, at the moment it didn’t feel gentle or loving at all. It felt more like being drop kicked across the ocean. And one thing for sure…in the moment I didn’t even see God in it at all. Of course… I wasn’t looking for him in it either!
So how did God intervene to bring me back home to the path of life He had for me? He took away the gift He had given to me to glorify Him but I was using for self fulfilling desires…my voice. It started with a moment on stage that hit me where I needed to be hit…my pride. There I was, on stage by myself, spot light on me and in the middle of the song I lost the ability to sing the correct note. I remember 2 notes coming out at one time, but not the right ones! I was horrified. It was soon after that I was sent home to get the healing I needed.
And while I went home to get the physical healing I needed,
God had brought me home to get the spiritual healing I needed.
While I took action to find a speech therapist to restore the damage to my vocal chords,
God began to direct me to people who could help restore my relationship with Him.
He did this by giving me the gift of a Godly husband. Mind you, I wasn’t looking for a husband ~ at least not this one! I had my sights on another, but God knew better and intervened with perfect timing. He made our courtship swift. We met and were married in 6 short months. I am sure this was God intervening in my strong willed efforts to get myself back onto the career path I had set my sights on.
And you would think that this would have put an end to my personal plans, but I was head strong and sure I knew best. So I had told my husband that the music industry was my career, but I would adjust it so that I only took 3 month tours and come home for 3 months.
Again, God’s grace and guidance prevailed. I found myself expecting our first child within 2 months of marriage. And so…when the call came to invite me on the next tour…God made sure I could say no!
God knew exactly what He had to do to bring me back to a walk with Him. In fact, He knew me so well, and loved me so much that He knew I needed further shepherding and discipline. Even though my voice was returning by this time, God knew I was weak in my faith and that singing was an idol to me. I still did not know what a healthy diet looked like to feed my soul. I certainly didn't realize that singing was an idol I put before God, but God was putting me on a path to show me.
For the next 4 years, God led Darius (husband) to put our family in a church that had no choir, thus no distractions of my idol. At first this was a point of contention for me. But once I decided to be still, stop looking for greener pastures, see God in the moment, and listen to Him I came to I love God more than I loved to sing. I began to understand the birthright I had been given at the point of my salvation and I learned to trust Him more than I trusted the future I could see for myself.
After 4 years with no music in my life, my husband decided it was time to find a church that was closer to home. Long story short, the church home we landed at had a wonderful choir and my heart was ready to sing. Not for my pleasure but for His glory.
I can tell you that it was several years later before I could look back on those years and finally see the full hand of God. And just like my daughter, there are days when I am tempted to turn off my 'GPS' and go the way that looks more familiar. But I am reminded by God's word (my God given GPS) that while my eyes may see one path that seems to be the 'right way to go', I need to trust more in the path of life God will lead me down.
Have you wondered down a path of life only to find yourself being brought home to the path of life God intended? Are you wondering down a path right now, with your GPS in hand (word of God) but turned off?
Our recipe today is for Following God's Lead
The ingredients are from Psalm 27:11, 16:11
The directions are to trust God to lead you on a path that is better than any path you can see right now.
Father, I confess that too many times I head down a path without looking first to You. And yet You never let me wonder too far and always intervene to bring me back to You. At times I find myself suffering the consequences of my self driven journey, but even then You are there to bring me the healing I need. Lord, I cannot find the words to thank You, but can only offer to You my praise today. I come to You today seeking Your path for my life. Give me eyes to see Your navigation and blind me to the ways that are not of You. Protect me from the distraction of paths that look easier or promise earthly glory. I submit my ways to You. I come to you in the name of my precious Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.