I squinted to see the distance before me. Everything was blurry and I couldn’t make out any signs, scenery or images. The few things I could see were confusing and conflicting. My limitations created a stirring of emotions and at times, felt like a tidal wave swallowing up my soul. I was blind for the future but knew where I had been and where God had me right now. All I could do was extend my hand forward and lift my eyes upward. Each step I would take would be guided by the only One who knew where I was heading.
For the last few years, I had been praying for the Lord to reveal the answer to my persistent question of “Why?” Pondering the purpose for something you are experiencing while constantly questioning the Creator of all things doesn’t seem like godly behavior for a follower of Christ. The difference, though, between questioning the Lord and doubting His plan is determined by the motive of your heart and the measure of your faith.
I never doubted God nor did I distrust His guidance, direction and ultimate purpose. I believed it was all for a reason, perhaps one I did not understand in the moment or in the years to come, but I knew He would be faithful. In my heart of hearts, I knew this to be true because of every little stumble I had made in the past and the course correction that took place. Likewise, every painstakingly difficult trial I had faced had ultimately served a much greater purpose and was a significant part of my sanctification. God had been and always will be faithful.
“Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow.”Proverbs 3:6 (CEV)
Still, I could only see what was directly in front of me. Step by step I continued forward even though I had no idea where I was being led. I trusted the Leader I was following and tried so hard to keep my eyes focused on God above. Every time I would pause for a break or take a second to look behind, I would find myself increasing the frequency of questions asked and feared my questioning would detour down a long, dark road of doubt.
For over three years I walked nearsighted through the metaphorical (and eventually, literal) desert. Thirsty for a mirage of revelation to solidify my purpose, I would continue to trek forward and cry out for answers that would make everything make sense.
Then suddenly, or what felt like all of a sudden but was really God at work over a set period of time, my vision started to change. At last, I could see what was ahead but I couldn’t see how to get there. God had finally answered my persistent questioning of “Why?” but had exchanged it for a roadblock of farsightedness.
It was the revelation I craved. Yet, while I was desperate for His response I had not prepared myself for what God’s answer would be.
I was disappointed at first. It was like anticipating a highly recommended meal made by a celebrity chef at a renowned Michelin-star restaurant and then being unimpressed with the ambiance, the quantity of the portion, and the taste of the food set before me. With tears streaming down my face I was crushed with the news because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. However, like any meal that nourishes the body, I knew this news would be nourishing to my soul.
Even though I have now become farsighted, I remember how the nearsightedness affected my trust in the Lord. It had forced me to move forward and hold His hand even though I had no idea where I was going. Step by step, He had guided me onward until my vision refocused and His destination was revealed. What was right in front of me had now made perfect sense for what I was able to see ahead.
Time has passed yet I am still able to see what lies in the distance and am choosing to trust in the Lord in the blurry here and now. I continue to believe He is faithful in His promises and will ultimately fulfill His purposes. I know this is true because He was faithful even when I didn’t understand the “why.”
I may not see what is in front of me but I am mediating on the truth that God will direct my steps and will bring everything to fruition when His time is right.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)