Taking a break from the series on our Heavenly Citizenship to participate in Five Minute Friday today! The word to write on for five minutes today is: GUIDE
It was our first morning in Athens, Greece. Our bellies were full of chocolate pastries and fresh orange juice. The hot temperatures had not yet reached their peak, as we had arrived early to the Acropolis. Even so, it was quiet hot and the line was longer and slower than we had anticipated. Suddenly a smiling woman approached us and asked if we would like a guided tour? For an extra cost she would take us right out of this hot, stagnant line and the Acropolis would "come alive" for us. This she promised.
As we eagerly shelled out our Euros, she handed us tickets, and pointed to a shady area where we should wait until she could gather eight or nine more people to make a full tour group. The others who stood in this area all seemed to be Americans as well. We began to wonder aloud if this tour guide was legit, or if she had taken our money and would never show up to tour us around.
We waited. And waited. We tried to remember what she looked like. We waited a little more. With every passing moment we wondered if our guide had abandoned us.
This is something I have often wondered about God. Has my guide abandoned me? Is He even walking beside me anymore? I can't see a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire. I don't see his footprints in the sand. Sometimes I can't even see how He's working in my life.
David felt this wayward, lonely walk in Psalm 43:2-
For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
When we feel rejected by the One who is supposed to be our safest refuge, does that feeling really come from our loving God??
According to David, this sense of mourning is crafted by our enemy- Satan- oppressing, assaulting, persecuting, controlling, and hijacking our minds to the point where we believe our guide has departed.
How will we turn our thoughts around to believe the truth of a God who never leaves? When a husband leaves. When a dream dies. When life is tiring and painful and hard. How can we really know that our guide hasn't abandoned us in the middle of our messy, depressing lives?
Perhaps another prayer like the one David sends out right after his desperate plea for a present God:
Psalm 43:3- Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and
to your dwelling!
God's LIGHT and God's TRUTH are the only sure signs that the Guide never leaves!
He is constantly shedding His light on our lives in small ways. Sometimes hard to see, but always visible if we take an honest, unhindered-by-Satan's-lies look around we can see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. His truth guides us as we engage in digestion of His word. Not just reading- but truly digesting the words of our Guide. These are the keys to knowing and trusting that He will continue to shepherd us- His beloved- safely and surely along our path.
In case you were wondering, that tour guide at the Acropolis really did show up eventually. She took us up the steep mountainside, stopping periodically to wax poetic about the landscape and the history.
I can't honestly repeat anything that she said, but I did trust that I was going to make it to the top with her guidance. She was so sure of herself and so confident that we would all reach the top together.
How much more does God's guiding light shine upon us, even in the darkest of days?
How much more does God's truth seep into our hearts and cause us to shut out that nasty voice telling lies about a loving God?
His character is flawless. Holy. Dependable. His guidance is ever-present. Not always easy to sense, but praise God we never have to be lonely.