The Guidance of God: Three Principles

I've had three interesting illustrations this week regarding God’s guidance.

On Monday, I went to the opticians. I've not been since 1998, so I was expecting something of a telling-off. I've also heard horror stories about opticians seeing ‘something’ in the eyes and urging the patient to attend A&E immediately. Furthermore, my eyesight is declining; signs look rather fuzzier than they used to. To my surprise, the optician told me my eyes were very good; although one eye is a little weaker than the other, glasses are not needed, and I needn’t go back for two years. “Good”, thought I. My eyesight is better than I thought.

Lesson: we are not so blind as we think. Although God calls us to trust Him, He does offer us guidance and signs in His word and by His providence.

Yesterday, I drove back from the beautiful undulating landscape of South Lancashire/West Yorkshire. Travelling from Delph near Oldham, one abruptly comes to the M62, the great east-west trans-Pennine highway. Driving due west in November, with a very bright but low sun, is most difficult. Many of us could barely exceed 40mph due to the sheer brightness in front of us. It would have been easier driving in the dark; the excess light retarded our ability to travel.

Lesson: if God gave us full knowledge and vision of the way ahead, shedding His light on every aspect of our futures, our faith would grow stilted and our pilgrimage would falter.

When last year I cycled home from church, I soon learned that my front light was inadequate. Stocks Lane is far from civilisation and there are no street lights. Consequently, I crashed into a fence. Not wishing to repeat this episode, I invested in a new, brighter light at considerable expense. I therefore cycled home from church last week, eager to try it. Apart from my generally being unfit and needing to pull over for regular rest breaks, I encountered a major problem. Although my new light can be recharged by means of a USB point, and it proved most effective, it went out. Unfortunately, one-third of the way home, its shop-given charge expired, and I was left without any illumination save a half-moon. Not only is it illegal to cycle at night without adequate lighting, but it was a long 70-minute walk with a heavy bicycle. Being a resourceful fellow, I removed my tie and stuffed it into my upper jacket pocket. This provided a platform upon which my mobile phone could sit with its flashlight turned on. Although much inferior to the proper light, it allowed me sufficient vision as to cycle the remainder of the journey, albeit rather slowly. Because the light did not shine so far, my pace slowed accordingly that I might not crash.

Lesson: without seeking His guidance we crash. However, God only affords sufficient light and knowledge of the future that we might not rush ahead of ourselves; we travel at His pace, not ours.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:105