‘Stand at the crossroads and look.’ We might approach the crossroads with a certain amount of trepidation, saying, “Which way, Lord?” We might be confused because our navigation system isn’t tuned in (or maybe we don’t even have one). We can become anxious, knowing where we need to be but not knowing the way. What do we do?
I remember I had this dilemma some years ago. I was driving home and came to a junction. I looked at the sign. My options were Edinburgh or Glasgow. I wanted neither. Both these roads would take me further away from my destination. I had to turn round and go back to the place where I’d gone wrong, until I found a sign I recognised.
Perhaps we feel as if we’re on a roundabout, saying, “Which exit, Lord? I’m just going round and round and getting nowhere. I need to get off, but which way do I take?” I could take a chance and choose an exit lane, but then I’m in uncharted territory and even more confused. What do I do?
‘Ask for the ancient paths’, the pathway handed down from generation to generation, going right back to the word of God itself. This is the ancient path. The word of life that leads to the Father, the word that keeps us in line with God. Jesus Himself trod this path and it led Him to Calvary.
‘Ask where the good way is.’ The good way is the way of goodness; the way of righteousness, God’s way. ‘And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way’ (Isaiah 35:8). It’s the way opened up for us by the love of God through the sacrifice of His Son. It’s the way of the cross. Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:6). With Jesus alongside, everything falls into perspective.We know where we are. Darkness and confusion begin to lift and we can see the way forward.
‘..And walk in it.’ Now I know where I’m going. I’m not quite sure how to get there, but my Guide will show me. I am not to follow the deceiver or the way of the world, but to follow the Light. ‘So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous’ (Proverbs 2:20).
‘You will find rest for your souls.’ Instead of fear, anxiety or doubt about anything, I can be confident that the Lord will guide me in everything, as long as I walk with Him.
Perhaps we need to pause, wait for a while, and consider which our way should be. Which is God’s way, the right way, to go? It might not be the path that looks like a shortcut to where I want to be. We must follow the path of righteousness. That’s the way of Jesus, where I am safe.
Prayer: Lord, Your words are a lamp for my feet and a light to my path. Forgive me for not always looking to You for guidance when my way ahead is confused. Forgive me for looking to the world for direction, and stumbling through the undergrowth. Please help me to take time to look for Your way, the way of righteousness, and know with confidence that You will lead me forward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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