Let God Drive
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
Have you ever pulled an all-nighter on the road? Well, like most missionaries in their long travels, I have. I am from Iowa and, for part of my homeland ministry assignment in the United States, I spent time with supporters in Oregon. At the end of my time there, my uncle flew to Portland and we drove home to Iowa together. We were in a bit of a rush due to other commitments back home, so we had to drive throughout the night. I was convinced that I was going to make it all night driving us home (yeah, right). About an hour into Wyoming, my uncle started nudging me and telling me that I had been swerving. He had noticed that despite all of the sugary candy and pop we had consumed, I was tired. But I didn’t want to quit driving; I just wanted to keep going. However, out of what was most likely fear for our lives, he convinced me to pull over and he took over driving through Wyoming and South Dakota. It wasn’t until I trusted my uncle to handle it and give me a rest did the situation become less dangerous.
It’s the same with the Lord sometimes. We aren’t always willing to pull over and let Him handle it when we most need to.
Five years ago, I began my God-led journey with WGM by serving as a volunteer in the island nation of Grenada. But as happens many times in our lives, God had other plans. I found out that what had been planned as three months of service in Grenada was actually going to be six weeks of service in Grenada and six weeks in Honduras. I learned that I was going to have to leave Grenada, a country with almost no violent crime, to go to what is known as the most violent country on earth instead. I began doubting the Lord and His plans for me in missions.
That was the first time I came across Deuteronomy 31:8 as a source of encouragement. I’m a planner. I like everything planned out in advance so as to have at least some idea of what is coming. I like to take care of things myself. Needless to say, that isn’t so easy on the mission field. I needed to learn flexibility.
The Lord brought me from one country I loved to another country that I wasn’t very open to accepting initially. Little did I know that He would take that country I didn’t want to accept and turn it into my home. Sometimes we have to let go of the wheel and let God drive.
In this Deuteronomy passage, the Lord was reassuring and strengthening Joshua before he took charge of the Israelites as they were about to head into the Promised Land. He is always there to reassure and strengthen us as we are about to take a leap of faith. Despite all of the difficulties or nervous reactions provoked by big change, He will take care of us no matter what.
ACT: Do you know someone who is struggling with letting God take the “wheel” in their life? Share this story with them and take time to read and study Deuteronomy 31 together.