How do you find your way when life gets complicated and messy?
Noah, the ark guy, probably isn’t top-of-mind when you’re facing difficulty and unanswered questions, but I bet Joseph and Mary thought about him a lot.
After all, the Lord had given this couple an assignment: birth and raise the Messiah.
Not a lot of details were included in the mission.
Navigating the future was going to be hard for this young couple expecting such an important baby.
Noah had extensive details on what materials to use to build the ark, its measurements, and the animals and people to go in it.
But with the instructions, God neglected to include a rudder or sail for the ark—both things a sailor needed to navigate a rough journey.
Noah, Joseph, and Mary had information but could not steer their journey.
They would have to depend on God to do the steering… to keep them from ending up shipwrecked on some hidden reef
Ever wonder how to find your way?
You know God has told you to do something or expect something, but you can’t see, let alone steer, your way.
Or you think you CAN find your way. Otherwise, why would God have given you the assignment?
But in your efforts, you mess things up, appear controlling, or hit that hidden reef.
People get hurt. You get confused and discouraged.
God lets your life get complicated
God gives us information and leaves essential stuff out, SO we have to trust him.
Since God had safely steered Noah’s ark, Joseph and Mary decided to trust God to guide their journey.
And God did that—through dreams given to Joseph and through circumstances.
Mary went into labor as they arrived in Bethlehem without motel reservations. An innkeeper provided a stable.
Herod decided to send out a hit team to take out the newborn babe. God sent magi to finance an escape route.
He also gave Joseph a warning dream the night he was to take his little family to Egypt.
Joseph didn’t know how long he was to remain in Egypt. God let him wonder. Until, some years later, he told Joseph it was safe to go back to Israel.
Moving forward isn't easy
I know that sounds cool… hearing from God in dreams and having magi show up at your house, but Joseph and Mary had no idea any of that would happen.
All they had was an assignment.
I’ve faced this myself.
I’ll know that God has pointed me in a specific direction, but I have no idea how to move forward, and no steering wheel has been provided.
I’m clueless on how to navigate whatever assignment the Lord has placed in front of me.
I have to learn, once again, to trust the Holy Spirit to be my rudder and sail AND to provide the wind in my sail moving me forward.
How to find your way
God will give you the first step.
1. You have to trust that He will provide you with the second step, the third, and so on whenever it is time to put your foot forward again.
2. You have to listen for his voice, especially as your circumstances change.
Personally, I’d like the whole plan laid out.
It makes me feel secure when I can see the entire assignment, including the unexpected twists and turns.
And I like to hold the steering wheel.
But these things don’t grow my faith or increase my ability to trust God.
So God leaves essential stuff out.
3. You have to face your insecurity and replace it with trust in the God who neglects to give rudders and sails on purpose.
There won’t be any magi showing up at my house this Christmas, but I’m pretty sure I will find God arranging circumstances as He moves me forward into the next phase of my latest assignment.
That’s how I plan to find my way: trusting, listening, and facing my insecurities with more trust.
And who knows, a group of shepherds and a bunch of angels might ring my doorbell late one night to guide me on my way