Published July 27, 2010
Recently my sister-in-law and I spent a day working together productively to resolve a difficult situation facing both of us. We accomplished a lot, but it sure wore us out.
We completed some shopping in one store, and as we left to go to another store, I invited Sue to jump in my car. We'd come back for her car later. Then as I drove along, Sue said, "I am so glad you are driving. I would have had to think about how to go." The trip was on a familiar road that I take frequently. She uses the same roads but on a less frequent basis.
Later that evening, we met Paul and my brother-in-law for supper. It was a great meal, but as we continued to eat, I could feel my strength just seeping away and the stress of the day began to take its toll. I told Paul I needed to get home and he could see I would soon likely be sick.
We paid the bill and I got in my car. I insisted I was able to drive my car home.
As I drove, I prayed that God would keep my sickness at a reasonable level. It was a great comfort to look in my rearview mirror and see Paul's car directly behind me all the way to the house. If I had gotten any sicker, I could have stopped beside the road and Paul would have been there to help me and drive me the remaining way home. (Thankfully, that didn't happen.)
This is so typical of our lives spiritually. I've traveled the road towards heaven for a long time. Most of the time the roads are obvious. There are things I need to do and I do them almost by habit.
I don't walk into a store and even think about stealing. I don't suddenly start swearing. It is not a necessary weekly decision whether to attend worship.
However, there are times when I am spiritually weakened, for whatever reason. My anger, depression, failure or success, and struggles overwhelm me. Perhaps my mind goes into overdrive about how I could "get even" with some person. In such a case I am not Christ-centered and my focus would not be pleasing to the Lord.
At those times, I need someone else to drive. The Holy Spirit knows the way and when I defer the driving to Him, the path becomes clear again. He doesn't let me get sidetracked by all the roads around me going in different directions. He keeps me going straight forward, as I should go.
Likewise, at those times, it is nice to have a physical presence ready to help me on my Christian journey. When I do stumble and need to stop, it is so helpful to have a Christian companion watching and ready to keep me moving safely on my journey. It is a comfort to know I am not traveling the Christian road alone.
Just as we need to admit our needs physically, so we need to recognize our needs spiritually. Ask some trusted Christians to pray for you. Trust a Christian friend to walk beside you in your struggles. Continue to pray your way through. Know that God will never leave you or forsake you and He already knows the best way.
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