“Where do you see yourself five years from now?” That was the question a manager at work posed to me many years ago. I struggled for an answer. Five years seemed like a long time.
With the challenges we’ve faced the past couple of years, I’m not convinced I can predict where I see myself in five months let alone five years. It’s not that I don’t have goals, plans and desires. But if I’ve learned anything from a worldwide pandemic, shifting culture and various forms of political unrest, it’s that I don’t have a clue what’s around the corner.
But that’s OK, God does.
By Mike Klassen
Nothing we’ve experienced has shocked God or caught him off guard. At no point in the past couple of years – or throughout history – has God ever said, “Wow… I didn’t see that coming.”
That should give us great peace. If we’re honest, though, it’s very easy to let that peace get shoved into the background as we allow ourselves to get overly-focused with the struggles in our lives and the world.
God’s Word Gives Us Direction
So how do we keep our balance and confidently move forward when it feels like the ground is continually shifting under us?
The psalmist made it simple when he wrote in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In other words, his word gives us direction for our lives, as crazy as it may be.
We shouldn’t take that verse to mean God will give us a filled-out day planner so we know what to expect day after day. That would erode our daily trust and dependence on him. And, frankly, if I knew exactly what was coming I’d be tempted to stay in bed some days or try to avoid situations that God wants me to go (and grow) through.
Take Things One Step at a Time
I heard a pastor point out that light from a lamp in the psalmist’s time wasn’t quite the same as what we think of today. Unless you’re roughing it in the woods, or live in an area where electricity is hard to come by, you might not have much experience walking in physical darkness. But a lamp similar to what the psalmist was talking about might only illuminate a few steps ahead in the darkness.
I find that encouraging and it gives me peace. With this day God has given me, I don’t need to know what’s going to happen in five years or five months. He already knows, and it’s not a surprise.
Being intentional to daily spend time in his word gives us the confidence and peace to take the next step to where he’s leading. In this time of turmoil, one solid “next step” from God is infinitely better than steps taken under our own logic and shifting feelings.
God’s Word Is a Light, Walk in It
In the past year or two, you may have spent less time in the Bible. Maybe it didn’t seem as relatable to the craziness we’ve been going through. Maybe a disruption with your work or health got you out of consistent Bible reading. Perhaps there’s been a lot of prayer, but it’s mostly you doing the talking and not listening to him speak through his word.
His word is the light that gives us encouragement and strength when we feel the darkness.
If time in God’s word has been pushed out of your daily schedule – or has never been a part of your daily schedule – will you consider setting aside time to engage with the lamp that God has given you?
I can tell you from experience, it will light your path.
If you’re willing to share your blessings or struggles when it comes to spending time in God’s word, please add your thoughts below.
About Mike Klassen
Mike is the Digital Content Manager for OMF (U.S.). After many years in Christian radio, he spent time at Microsoft as a technical writer/editor. More recently through his own company, he worked as a writer and voiceover artist. Mike and his wife live in Washington State.