The Path of Least Assurance

We have all probably been there. We are faced with a decision and one path seems like the “rational” choice, and yet after prayerful consideration, we believe that God is leading us in the other direction. It may not make sense to us, let alone to our friends or family, and yet we feel compelled to pursue this path of uncertainty. We may not see beyond the next step, and we definitely do not know what the end result will be, but we sense that this is the way the Holy Spirit desires us to go.

In these situations, I often find myself wondering why God doesn’t reveal more. Of course, He has been gracious to reveal as much as He has through His Word, but at times, it appears that following Him would be easier if we had a clearer sense of where He was leading. Perhaps if we could see what He was orchestrating, we would more confidently pursue it. Perhaps if we knew what the plan was, our hearts would be more inclined towards it. If we understood more, wouldn’t we follow better?

While all of this sounds good, I’ve come to believe that one of the reasons God may choose not to reveal all He has planned is because we would be tempted to follow the plan, rather than Him. If we had a greater sense of the work He was doing in and through us, we might become so focused on what He will accomplish, that we would neglect to bring glory to the One whose accomplishment it is. If we understood how the pieces fit together, we might think we could complete the puzzle without Him. In other words, sometimes God may call us to the path of least assurance because if we do not have confidence in the circumstance, it may cause us to increase our dependency on Him.

Of course, just because something is uncertain is by no means a clear indication that this is the path a Christian should pursue. We should dedicate our decisions to prayer, seek wise counsel and dive deep into His Word. At the same time, we mustn’t be afraid if the path that we are to walk is not completely revealed. It is enough to know the One who leads us, and to place our assurance not on the road that we see, but on the One who leads the way.

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Remember When

My daughter has a great memory. She will remember directions to places that we have been only once, and events that occurred years ago. It makes me feel better to think that one reason she can remember things so well is because she hasn’t been on this Earth very long, but I also realize that this is just a gift that God has given her. Because she has such a great memory, she often likes to say “Mom, remember when…..”, immediately followed by the story of some adventure or the recollection of some experience.

In listening to my daughter recount the tales of days gone by, I’ve come to appreciate how important it is to remember. The Psalms are replete with reminders of God had done in the past as encouragement to face the future. There may be pain in some memories, but there is also a testament to God’s provision and faithfulness. If we are diligent, these recollections will help us endure our hard times and be more thankful for the good.

Here are four types of memories that are worth sharing, and “remembering when….”

1. Times of Blessings

When we are going through difficult seasons, it can be hard to recognize the good things that we have. However, we all have times in our lives that we can look back upon and remember how God has blessed us. Whether this was the gift of a child being born, the purchase of a home, or the assurance that we had found the vocation to which God had called us – it is important to remember those moments where we clearly experienced God’s kindness in our lives. It will help us appreciate the deep love that our Father has for us and the joy that He has given in our lives. Even if the road we are on is hard, we can rejoice at all the blessings that we have received along the way.

2. Times of Provision

If you have walked with God for any length of time, you have assuredly gone through a season where you weren’t sure how you were going to make it through. Whether you were running short on time or running short on cash, we can all look back and see how God has worked to give us exactly what we needed.  Sometimes His provision may have looked much different than we anticipated, but we can see His hand nonetheless. When we are walking a path of uncertainty it is helpful to remember those times where God has provided. Because our faithful God has not only provided in our past, He will provide for our future as well.

3. Times of Answered Prayers

Growing up my dad kept a prayer chart. On one side he would record his request, on the opposite side he would record when it was answered. It was a great visual reminder that my dad’s prayers had not fallen on deaf ears. God had heard them, and He had responded. When my dad prepared to bring a new petition to God, he had confidence that this too would be heard and that in His good timing, God would provide a response. Sometimes it can seem that we pray the same prayer over and over again, and God is slow to move. But God is never slow – and God responds. Remembering time of answered prayers can help us have confidence in this truth.

4. Times with God’s Family

God did not intend His children to pursue Him alone; that is why He established the Church. Being a part of God’s family is one of the greatest blessings that a Christian can experience. Our brothers and sisters in Christ should be an encouragement to us and should spur us on to greater Christ-likeness. While it can be mind-boggling to think that anyone is lonely despite all our forms of communication, the truth is that they are. We have likely all been through seasons where it seemed like no one understood and that we are walking the path alone. Remembering sweet times with God’s children can help us realize that this is not the case. We have brothers and sisters around the world who are also pursuing godliness and are faced with their own obstacles and difficulties. As we remember the sweet times we have experience with God’s children, it can not only deepen our affection for the Church, it can prompt us to provide that same encouragement and helpfulness to someone else that is hurting.

These are just four times that are worth remembering. There are assuredly many more. The important thing to realize is that if we are God’s children we can look back in our lives and testify to His faithfulness, His kindness, His grace and His love. And these are memories worth recalling, and sharing.

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