The Uncharted Path
“It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn't lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, "If the people encounter war, they'll change their minds and go back to Egypt. So God led the people on the wilderness road, looping around to the Red Sea. The Israelites left Egypt in military formation.”
With three beautiful and healthy children, it seemed confusing and even a bit scary when God called us to adopt a little girl from China. This was an uncharted and unfamiliar path for us. However, God quickly revealed to us that, just as the rest of the Christian life, it had nothing to do with "us" or the ideals that we had mapped out for our life, but rather it had everything to do with His perfect will and the plan He had for our lives.
In Exodus 13, God did not take the Israelites out of Egypt by way of the "road", but He led them instead through the wilderness. As I read this, I think how illogical this would have seemed. I imagine that this would have been dark and even fearful to enter the unknown and leave the charted path of the "main road". But, it was God’s route for His people.
Exodus goes on to give the accounts of all that He miraculously did for His people through the wilderness. He protected them on all sides as they supernaturally crossed the Red Sea. He provided for them by feeding them manna each morning, and even giving them fresh water from a bitter source. He guided them with the pillar of Fire by night and Cloud by day. He met their every need. It was on this journey through the unknown wilderness that He chose to reveal Himself to them.
It’s through the "unknowns" in our lives that God is going to provide, protect, and continually guide us as we obey Him. Whatever the unknown we must walk into right now, will be something altogether different in just a matter of time because the Christian life is one big journey that takes us from one unknown to another. This is God’s design because, as He tells us in His word, the "just shall live by faith". The blessed assurance we have to hold on to is found in Who we are following!
What unknown are you stepping into or walking through right now? Are you allowing it to prepare you for the destination He has mapped out for you? The ultimate destination for all of us is Heaven. The different journeys we all take in this life will each lead to the ultimate day when we stand before our Savior. Will you be welcomed into the Promise Land and into the joy of your reward? Will you have stories to share of His sufficiency and grace that you experienced along the way? Or will you be left wandering in the wilderness because of your unbelief. Or perhaps you will enter the Promise Land, but with a heart of regret because you lived faithless and fearful, unable to move into the realms of the unknown that He mapped out for you, therefore, missing out on the incredible things He wanted to show you?
Just as He said over and over in Exodus, every path we take with Him is "all so that His GLORY will be put on display and others will know that HE is God"! You see, the wilderness was definitely the longer and harder route, but it was God's route and His time table is much different than ours, and His plans and purposes far exceed anything we could ever imagine.
We had no idea in the beginning of the amazing joy we would experience on the other side of the wilderness journey of adoption or the incredible things He would show us along the way. There were many mountains in which God revealed Himself to us, and there were many Songs of Praise He wrote in our hearts.
Aren’t you ready to take that next step into the wilderness with Him, knowing that He is sufficient for your every need?
He strategically and intimately reveals Himself to you, and there is a Promise Land that awaits you at your journey’s end. Ask Him what road of comfort He wants you to step off of and what path into the wilderness that He wants you to begin following Him on. Listen closely because He is alwasy calling us to deeper fellowship with Him and that only comes through a journey marked by faith.
Lord, help me today to follow you into the areas that are unknown and unfamiliar and trust you to provide, protect, and guide me every step of the way. Thank you that you already have the path charted out for me and will not guide me on the paths that I cannot handle. Thank you that you will strategically give me stops at the mountaintops for encounters with you, where I can simply inhale your amazing goodness, and thank you that you will refresh me with your daily provisions. Enable me to follow you today with a heart filled with joyful anticipation and sincere gratitude for all you have already done in my life.
You can read more from Tammy at her blog Steps In Our Journey