“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in the scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” –Isaiah 58:11, ESV
Whenever I am lost, I call my Dad. He always seems to know where to go – the hidden dirt road that will get me back on track, the highway that connects me to where I was supposed to be on, or – at the very least – where the best coffee shop is to ask for directions. He is my “go-to,” my “Yoda,” my living, breathing “GPS.” I trust his guidance and, in my thirty five years on this planet – he has never steered me wrong. I have, however, chosen too often not to listen. Rebellious teenage pride stuck my nose up at his instructions and huffed, “I know what I’m doing.” This always resulted in me screaming my head off as I realized I was driving down a One-Way the wrong way. Going it “on my own” never went well for me. A few night terrifying drives into nowhere – looking up at road signs I had never seen and down at a phone with no reception was all I needed to realize – I need my Dad on speed dial! He was and is the best at getting me where I need to go.
Over the years, I have discovered I am not only “directionally challenged” when it comes to driving, I am often “directionally challenged” when it comes to life. I find myself too often at crossroads unsure of which path to take – decisions piling up and overwhelming me, the mostly good-intentioned but often contradicting advice of others swirling in my head.
What should I do?
Where should I go?
What path am I to take?
In these moments, I find myself more often than not running to James 1 verse 5 and clinging to it for dear life: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him (ESV).”
It’s that simple.
My Heavenly Father, who is generous and kind, will give me the wisdom that I need to face the challenges that lay ahead of me, make the decisions that must be made, and move forward into what He has created me to do. Yet, here is what I have discovered over the years: The Father can’t lead me if I won’t listen. If my conversations with Him are one-sided or have boiled down to a quick prayer before dinner and a quick check in before bed – I will never hear His voice and receive His direction. Letting my Father lead me means carving out time in my day to listen for His voice.
It also means I must stop trying to lead Him. As a strong-willed woman who has about 2% sugar to sweeten my 98% spice – this hasn’t been easy. For years, my prayer time sounded more like an advice column than a conversation. I am so thankful that among the many things are Father is – He is patient. Over time, He has taught me that sometimes the best thing I can do is to stop and just…wait. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” When is the last time you were still and just…waited on Him?
To “wait” is to “expect” and “eagerly look for.” It means “to linger for” and “eagerly hope.” It doesn’t mean I’m giving up. It doesn’t mean I’m turning around. It simply means I’m choosing to put myself in “park” until I receive “the call” from my Father telling me which way to go. Instead of driving aimlessly- guessing at each turn and getting more lost with each blink of my turn signal- “waiting” is a choice to drive purposely – to slow down and do it right. And here is what I have found: When God calls me to a season of waiting, the best and most productive thing I can do is wait. As tempting as it may be to turn back onto the road and try to figure it out on my own – it never works. The best seasons of my life have followed seasons of waiting – when I have stopped trying to lead Him and let my Father do what my Father does so well: take care of me.