Anyone want a refund on those black-eyed peas yet? We are only one week into 2021 and already we need a do-over! It feels like we have already made a wrong turn and have ended up right back into 2020. It is hard to believe the events of the last few days. This is the year things were supposed to get better. If we could just endure 2020, make it to the finish line, turn the calendar over on January 1, things would be better, right? And yet here we are with the brokenness of our world smacking us right in the face every time we turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. Many of us have been praying for a revival, a new Great Awakening, but the world seems more sinful than ever. Where is God when the world seems so dark? Did we miss His directions?
First of all, God is not bound by our human calendar. He operates on His own timetable and the fact that our calendar has flipped over to a new year does not obligate Him to anything. Secondly, God has His own agenda, His own plan. If you read the Bible all the way through (and I strongly recommend that you do), you will see that God is moving all of history toward an end to this world. I am not saying the end is today. People have thought that we are in the last days ever since Jesus ascended to heaven, and we are. There is no doubt that we are getting closer to the end of human history.
In my last post, I shared a verse of scripture that has really spoken to me in these early days of 2021:
Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! Ps. 77:19 NLT
Every year I ask the Lord to give me a verse or a word for the year. I have been trying to hear from Him and settle in on what He is speaking to me. The scriptures that have jumped off the page at me are ones that contain the word “path” or “way” or “pathway” so I have settled on “path,” understanding that it contains the meanings of all three words. I am loving the idea of Jesus as a way maker, the One who creates a path. When we think there are no good options, he shows us a way we have never considered.
Jesus tells us that He is the way (John 14:6), and we understand that He is speaking about the way to the Father, the way to heaven. But when someone tells you the way, there is still the journey. I might ask the way to get from Tulsa to Dallas, but I still have to make the drive. I need to know where to turn, what towns to drive through, and where the rest stops are. I need to know the road conditions. Is there construction? Bad weather? I need to stay on the path and trust that the directions will get me to my destination, even though I will drive through a long stretch of highway that doesn’t look like Dallas. If the person who gave the directions truly knows the way, I can trust the drive.
So that is where we are now. We are beginning our journey through 2021, without much of a road map, but the One who created the road has the directions. He knows the path. We may not know what is ahead, what will happen next week or next month, but He knows. He will show us the way, where to turn, where to stop. And when it looks like we are at a dead end, when we are out of options, He will show us a way; a way we never knew was there.
Fasten your seat belts! The road ahead may be bumpy!