Life Can Feel Like a Maze

Dear Friends,

As a child I enjoyed visiting castles and old English homes with my family.  I particularly liked it if there was a maze on the grounds.  It was fun to pair off and see who was going to reach the centre first.  Of course it always meant taking some wrong turns, coming against a dead end, not being sure whether to go right or left and sometimes re-tracing our steps, but we always got there in the end. 

One of Jason's uncles owns a farm and he has planted and pruned willow trees in an area of seven acres of land.  He did this to create a maze.  But there is something unique about his maze, which you are not aware of it when on the ground.  A different perspective is needed.  From an aerial view you realise that the maze is actually created so that you can read from above the words taken from John 14:6a "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.'" (NLT) 

Life can sometimes feel like a maze. There are times when we don't know which direction we should take.  If we rely on our own understanding we usually find we have taken the wrong path.  We always need God's guidance and direction if we are to take the right path for our life. If I want to know God's path for my life then I need to seek his will and be obedient to him.  It's no good me asking God which direction to go in and then turn round to him and say, actually, I've decided I don't like that path, this one looks much better to me, I think I'll go this way instead!  Proverbs 3:6 says "Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (NLT)

It can be confusing at times when we are faced with more than one direction to take.  At these times I find I really need to stop and take the time to seek God.  I ask him to make it clear to me which one he wants me to take.

Sometimes the path can be difficult. Times when it's not so smooth underfoot.  When the path is bumpy. They are the times when our circumstances are difficult and the problem before us appears insurmountable.  When we feel like we can't keep going.  Or we feel like turning back.  When we can't understand why this is happening to us. That it doesn't seem to make sense. We feel like God has deserted us, that he's left us alone to deal with it.  That he doesn't really care about what we are facing.  We can become frustrated, even feeling like God has caused this.

It's at these times when we need to be careful of relying too heavily on our feelings.  We cannot always trust our feelings to give an accurate representation of how things are.  At these times we need to rely on what we know to be true about God and the truth of his word.  You see, God is truth and therefore we can trust everything he says.  He will never lie to us.  He will never say something he does not mean.  So, for example, when I feel as though God has deserted me, I need to remind myself of what is the truth.  The truth is that God, in all the time I've known him, has never once left me alone.  Therefore I can fully rely on him to be with me in my current situation. And the truth of his word is this: "Be strong and brave... because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you." Deuteronomy 31:6 (NCV)

The truth of the matter is that we only have a limited perspective.  We see things from our point of view, from below, and in the here and now. Whereas God sees the whole picture, his is an eternal perspective.  From above he knows the whole story and he knows just what we need to experience on our journey.  He allows us to face difficulties for a particular reason.  We can't see our whole journey mapped out clearly before us so each day we need to exercise our faith in God.  We grow our trust in him by taking that daily step of faith which says "I don't know the journey you want me to take, I can't see it all before me.  But I know that you know the way God and I'm deliberately putting my trust in you to lead me.  I'm choosing to rely on your wisdom, rather than my understanding."  In Proverbs 3:5 we read "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." (NLT)

I am so thankful to have the gift of God's presence with me as I walk the path before me. I'm so grateful that I don't need to walk it alone.  I'm so glad that the path I take doesn't depend on me getting it right, on me deciding which direction to take, but depends on me trusting God to take me the right way. There is no need to fear where the path will lead, where it will go in the future, or what circumstances I have to face, because God is with me.  His spirit living in me gives me the confidence to continue this journey. 

Take heart, dear friend, whatever the path is that God has set before you, he is with you.  You are never alone.  You can commit to follow him from this day on, for every day of your life, and you can be assured that he will be with you to the very end.

To Think About:
If you were to think about your life as a maze how would you describe where you are right now in that maze?

How does it make a difference to your life when you know that your limited perspective is different to God's perspective?

How could you encourage a friend who's path in their maze feels as though it has come to a dead end or who's path is bumpy and difficult, or who doesn't know whether to go one way or another?

Vicki

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