The Trail to Trust and Hope
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
-Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
To kick off the summer vacation, my youngest daughter and I went on a 20-mile, three-day back-packing trip. I have been on several trips, but this was her first. We were hiking a section of the Monadnock-Sunapee Trail and followed their guidebook and trail markers for the three days of hiking. By following their book, we found shelters or platforms on which to spend the night and we found plenty of water to pump into our water bottles.
There were a couple of places on the trail where we missed markers and didn’t understand where we were supposed to go. Needless to say, we had to do some back-tracking before we got back on the correct path. We marched on only after adding an extra mile to our already long and hot hike. Yet, as long as we followed the guidebook and kept an eye on the trail markers, we had no problems.
God gives us the same guidance with His guidebook, the Bible. Our heavenly Father lays out a plan for us, and if we follow His plan, we have His promise of a hope for our future. It is when we take things into our own hands that we stumble and fall. Even if we just follow what we want to and skip the sections of His Word that we don’t like, we will not get to where God is trying to lead us. We can’t avoid the conviction of His Word. We have to give our full attention to His guidebook and to His leading.
Today, when you are in doubt, pray for a "trail marker" from God’s Word to guide you back to the right trail. Even if the road is difficult, it will be well worth it if it is part of God’s design. We must keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.
1. Are there passages of Scripture that you avoid?
2. If a teammate is stumbling, what can you do to help him or her get back on track?
3. When you know you are not following God's Word, whom can you turn to for help?