Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.
Friend to Friend
Not too long ago I was sitting in an airport waiting for my delayed flight to board. To pass the time, I was doing something that comes natural to me as a physical therapist—I was analyzing people’s gait (their walking style/posture) as they strolled by. I had just diagnosed a weak left hip muscle in a middle-aged woman when I turned my head to the right to lock my eyes onto my next “patient.” What I found was something quite out of the ordinary. A blind man was walking by, his left arm linked with a sighted man’s right arm. Now, this wasn’t what I found to be curious. What was interesting was that even though the blind man was being led by someone with full sight, he continued to use the walking stick he held in his other hand to methodically sweep the path ahead of him as he walked. Huh. Why was he doing this? Did he not trust his guide to lead him in a clear path or was it done by habit?
While I was considering these two options the Lord leaned into my ear in that moment and said, “This is the way I want you to walk with me, Lisa.” Suddenly I understood. You see, Jesus is the eternally-sighted One. He desires to be my Guide, and in order for this to be accomplished, my arm (life) needs to be linked with His. Once that connection is in place, it becomes my responsibility to navigate the day-to-day jaunts that He has entrusted me to take, all while relying on the mighty support His Arm provides—just as the blind man was doing that day as he made his way through the airport. God does His part, and we must do ours.
Truth be told, I can be blind to the ways of the Lord. There have been times when I’ve un-linked my arm with Christ’s and tried to navigate my life with my own understanding. Sure, I read God’s Word, but then I look forward at the circumstances ahead of me, and I think I’ve got a good handle on things. So, off I go, ambitiously “swinging my stick” side to side while pressing forward. The problem is, at the end of the day, the week, or the month, I’m lost. I’m nowhere near the “gate” the Lord had intended to lead me to.
That day in the airport I recommitted myself to staying linked to the Lord, not simply satisfied with the knowledge that He is near (and therefore prone to “lean on my own understanding”). Looking back, I am grateful for that particular flight delay. It allowed me to see my times of “blind ambition” for what they are: a disconnected, un-Guided pursuit which failed to deliver me to the Lord’s intended outcome.
Lord, when I am tempted to run on ahead of you, or even to lag behind you, please remind me that you and I were meant to be linked through your Holy Spirit; to be in step. Today I acknowledge my reliance on you in order for my paths to be made straight—directed towards your will—each and every day.
In the mighty Name of Jesus I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn: In what situations are you most prone to “go it alone,” confident in your own understanding? Invite the Lord to take your arm and assist you in navigating through it. Begin by intentionally praying for wisdom, clear direction, and for the Holy Spirit to empower your thoughts, words, and actions.