Isaiah 42:16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
As much as I would like to think that I know exactly where I am going in life, the reality is that I have limited foresight and cannot see what will occur in the next moment. My days resemble walking in a forest where I don’t know what lies behind the next bend more than driving on the plains where I can see for miles.
In Isaiah 42:16, God states our condition in life – we are blind and need guidance. We don’t know where we are going even though we think we know the way. In this verse, God promises he will lead us in ways we have not known. We are to put our hand in his, hold on tight and enjoy the ride because it won’t be where you think you should go.
Next, God promises to turn the darkness into light. Though we may be on unfamiliar paths, God sheds just enough light for us to take the next step and then the next until we see the right side of the tapestry that reveals the beautiful picture created during adversity. Sometimes, God also smooths the rough places on the road, shifting our pace from trudging to skipping.
Finally, God says, “These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”
There are times in my life when I panic because I think God has stopped the car, dropped me off on an unfamiliar highway, and left me to find my way home. I feel this way when I ask God, “Why did you take me here just for me to fail and suffer?” Then while I’m crying, God speaks to me through the Bible and says, “I’m still here. I’ll never forsake you. You hit a rough spot on the road, but I will make it smooth again. Trust me. Don’t let go of my hand. Your story isn’t over yet.”
If you had asked me five years ago that everything in my life would have transpired as it did, I would have said you are crazy! But I do know one thing for sure. If I can survive the death of many family members and my divorce and still love Jesus and not be cynical and bitter, I will be ok.
Every time I reach a milestone or a new season in my life, I’m in unchartered territory. There is always the first day – the first day after my mother’s death, the first day after my divorce was final, or the first after my daughter graduated from college. Until I take my last breath, God will lead me on more unfamiliar paths. More spots on the road will become rough, and I’ll need to be patient for God to answer prayers and smooth things out. But I have a God who never has or will never forsake me. So my hand is in his, and I’m never letting go.
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