Every day is a journey. Each step taking us ever closer to the place we desire to be, or the person we hope to become. Some days we gain ground, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Other days we simply stand in the same place, maintaining the position we have acquired. Still there are days when we look around us only to question how did we end up back here? These are the days when we reach not the end, but rather find ourselves back at the beginning.
The worst part about traipsing through the desert is that your tracks are easily erased by the sifting sand. Sometimes you are walking toward an oasis only to find as you get closer it was nothing more than a mirage. These are the days when the dry heat and the never ending journey begin to wear on even the strongest of soul. David, hidden in a cave, fearful for his life, and weary from his circumstances, cried out to God offering us this bit of hope: “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path” (Psalms 142:3) NASB.
Grab a hold of this, Friend. God knows your path. He knows exactly what direction you are heading every time you put one foot in front of the other. God knows where His is leading you. I’ll be the first to admit and the second to complain that often the path feels haphazard and makes no sense to my logical mind. This is when I remember that I am a sheep. My job is to follow the Shepherd. He certainly hears my “baas” and sees my tears, but He continues to lead me on the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Occasionally, my fleece flairs, and it’s time for a good shearing. This normally happens when I forget that it’s not about me. The Shepherd doesn’t lead us on this journey for our name’s sake. Thankfully, the Shepherd most definitely knows our name, but it is His voice we hear and follow (John 10:27). Sometimes, I think we are too quick to follow a piped piper, political leader, or religious leader that claims to know the way. Unfortunately, too many times those types of leaders become idols in our minds, and almost before we are able to realize it, we have stopped trusting in God. Instead, we feed off of every word that comes from the pulpit or the platform, not testing the words to see if they line up with the Word of God. We all too quickly become lackadaisical in our own personal pursuit of Jesus - losing sight of the path we were on for His name’s sake.
Jesus declared that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). It is only Jesus that knows our path. Remember, even the best of prophets only see or hear in part. A prophetic word will either confirm something the Lord has already spoken to you, or it will later be confirmed. If a word is truly from the Lord, He will have no problem verifying it to you. Your Shepherd is not offended when you ask Him to reiterate something He has spoken to you. Wisdom promises that if we will trust the Lord with all of our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding, if we will acknowledge Him in all of our ways, He will indeed direct our paths and make it straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
We are on a pilgrimage to draw ever closer to our Shepherd. Sometimes we get weary, but God most certainly knows where we are going. He is our Shepherd. If we get too far off the path, we will feel His rod or staff. If we recognize it, His staff will comfort us. We are the sheep of His pasture. He sees us and calls out our name. If we are willing to follow Him, wherever He may lead us, we can trust the outcome to be good. Remember, the Lord is our Shepherd. We shall not want. He makes us lie down in green pastures. He leads us beside the still waters. If today’s journey was a bit rough for you, talk to your Shepherd. He knows the path you are on and where it is leading. He alone can restore your soul. (Psalms 23)