“Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life”Psalm 143:10 NIVUK
A few weeks ago, I had to attend an appointment at a nearby hospital for some tests. I was shown into a busy ‘day ward’, and as I sat in my curtained cubicle waiting for the doctor to come and see me, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation in the next cubicle. It impacted me and has stayed with me, because through it, the Lord reminded me, in my anxiety over my pending examination, where my strength and sense of direction is found.
An elderly man had been brought in by his son. I could hear the worry in the son’s voice as he spoke to the doctor. The father had been driving home from the shops with his wife; a route they had taken for years, when he suddenly became disorientated, took a wrong turning and got lost. “Dad’s always had an incredible sense of direction,” the son said, “so naturally we are very worried that this happened. It just isn’t like him”
It turned out that the father had eventually pulled over, got himself ‘together’. Overwhelmed and afraid, he humbly asked the one he trusted, his wife, for directions, and they got home.
It’s Alright to Ask For Directions
We all lose our bearings sometimes. We get confused, we feel lost, we can’t see the way ahead, we take wrong turnings and go off course. More often than not, we try to muddle through on our own. But we don’t have to.
The Psalmist David had such a great wealth of life experience that we can learn from, yet even he experienced those times when he just didn’t know what way to go. This great king, mighty in battle and a “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) reveals his humility and vulnerability in Psalm 143, when it would seem he felt so lost.
He experienced a loss of hope, and felt paralysed by fear: “I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.” (Verse 4)
He was becoming depressed: “Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.” (Verse 7)
And then David Remembered!
He remembered to pause in his fear and distress, and ask God for directions: “Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” (Verse 8)
He remembered that God rescues those who run to Him: “Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me.” (Verse 9)
He remembered that the Spirit of God teaches and instructs. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Verse 10)
He remembered that God is faithful: “For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.” (Verse 11)
He remembered that it is God who fights our battles (and wins!): “In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.” (Verse 12)
If you feel a bit “lost” today, follow David’s example and remember. And ask God for directions.