I took the little ones’ hands and walked as quickly as I could.
We had just emerged from the forest and hadn’t ended up where we had planned on meeting the other kids. My heart was sick with worry even though I knew they were okay.
Though on foot, I hit Google maps and began walking swiftly in the direction it led. After about a half mile, I realized it was leading us astray.
Ever walked in circles trying to get somewhere, worried about your other kids?
The woods were deep and the trails varied and confusing, but we were on small paved roads that should surely lead us back to the car. What was the problem?
Ever ran your mind in circles trying to come up with a plan that worked? A plan that would lead you out of a mess?
Ever landed up exactly where you were at, before? Wondering how it was possible to waste so much time?
We navigate our own brain a million times, only to come up with a solution that leads us to a shack in the woods rather than our own sturdy home. I wonder when we will tune in on God’s word to us, and tune out on our own words to ourselves.
“This God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30, ESV)
What is God saying to you right now, friend?
Did you know his word to your heart is perfect, even when your circumstances are not? Can you take the dare to listen carefully and follow his road map even when your own thoughts run in circles and you’re tempted to conjure up your own plan?
“The God who equipped me with strength, and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.” Psalm 18: 32-36, ESV
Are we all the way in with God? We cannot receive his comfort unless we’re first willing to give up our own discomfort.
Rather than fight your trial, purpose to use your energy to pursue the heart of God for your trial. Only he knows the way out of the maze.
Others may think they do, and God will use them to pull you through. But never allow their words to replace God’s word to your heart. God’s word is sure, and human words may contradict each other, leading you round and round another maze.
Only listen in when human words match with God’s words.
Don’t fear your trial. Don’t fight it. Jesus himself ended his earthly life in excruciating pain while bearing blame he never deserved in a million years.
There would have been no empty tomb had there been no occupied cross.
There are no plants springing up without a seed buried and dead under the soil.
And there will be new life for you when you are fully willing to die to your old.
“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”
And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous.” Isaiah 30: 19-21a, ESV
Running your own mind in circles will inevitably lead you to mental exhaustion and, most likely, worthless, fruitless striving.
Slow it down. Breathe. Not everything has to be fixed today.
Only move when the word is sure to your heart. Realize that your part is to receive from the Lord rather than produce for yourself.
As you learn to adopt his word to your circumstance rather than try to fix your circumstance, your way will become bright and sure. You will be a shining light, glowing on a dark path.
No lamp the Lord lights is put under a basket or in a closet. Let His word shine light through you, and you will find that your circumstances no longer control you.
Let there be rivers of living water flowing through you, out of you, headed to thirsty souls who want to know what grace life really is.
Let truth govern you, calm you, reign your mind in a world of many voices. Refuse to run the circle, and choose instead to run the race.
We navigated our way through the maze of small roads, and spotted the van. The kids were there, waiting, wondering where mama had been. I was certainly grateful as I turned the key.
The road led home, and the maze was gone.
Friend, are there others waiting for you to get out of the maze of your own mind? Are your kids longing for you to see clearly and walk with clarity?
Will you tune in on a sure word from the Healer Himself?
His word will lead you home, out of the maze. And if your circumstances don’t change, your heart will—because God is good.