Driving By Faith

6:15am, it was dark, cold and snowy.

65mph feels WAY too fast a speed to be going with those conditions.

Man Driving on Rainy Day
Not quite fully awake, I peered into the distance as I drove down the highway. The light dusting of snow we had received the night before making driving all the more difficult.
Wet asphalt, darkness and car headlights have never mixed well and probably never will.

I gripped the steering wheel, concentrating as I merged onto to an exit that would put me on another highway.
I dreaded this section of road. The first time I realized I needed glasses was when I drove this stretch and found it incredibly hard to see, much less drive.

Now, equipped with glasses, I was going to attempt this stretch again.

I came off the exit and drove up the slight hill that lay before me.
Oh, I could see it now, black and dark. The few hundred feet my headlights reached into the void seemed so insufficient. I noted another car ahead of me, grateful to have a reference for the bends and turns of the highway.

Glancing down, I couldn’t have been more grateful for the “cat eyes” reflectors installed on the road.
One issue though, they only reflected as far as my car headlights reached.

So I found myself forced to trust whoever installed these “cat eyes.” For even as I slowed to 55mph, I found myself only able to see a few seconds ahead of me.

Yet, the “cat eyes” and my headlights did not fail me. By the grace of God I reached my exit and happily made my retreat from that stretch of highway.

Whew. I don’t ever want to drive that stretch again!
Yet, I know I will be back on it next week…

“Ok Nathaniel, what’s going on with the car story?” Well, I am glad you asked. :)

As I gripped that steering wheel, hoping the next “cat eyes” would be there, I was struck how similar this was to my life.
How often do I find myself terrified with what is going to be around the next bend of life? How often do I wonder if I will know where to go next? Or maybe, there won’t be enough light and I’ll fly off the road into some ditch?

Yet, the Lord continues to give me enough light for that next stretch and the next stretch of the highway of life. Sometimes, it is enough light that I can see miles down the road. At other times, it is just enough for the next few seconds.
Yet, it never runs out.

For the last several years of my life, it has been a few-seconds-needs-to-know-basis. I haven’t been able to see as far as I’d like to on the road of life. I’ve been white-knuckling the steering wheel, terrified at what may or may not be around that next bend.

If you asked me three years ago,
“Where do you think you will be next year Nathaniel?” My honest answer would have been, “I don’t know.” Two years ago, same answer. One year ago, still the same.
If you asked me today, I’d still say,
“I don’t know.”

Wow, is that a hard place to be in my humanity! I want to have everything planned out, to have the highway of life lit up as far as I can see.
I don’t want to have to take the next few seconds in faith, trusting the Lord for what’s beyond.

Highway at Night with Light Trails
Yet, I have no other option. I can’t speed up, because I am unable to see what’s ahead of me and I don’t dare slow down. I must follow the “cat eyes” of direction the Lord continues to lay out before me as I seek Him in prayer and in the Scriptures.

As a planner and visionary, I don’t like the unknown. It scares me as it is so unpredictable and out of my control.
This is exactly why the Lord has me on a need-to-know-basis right now. Because I so quickly forget this life has never been about me charting my own course. It has never been about my “expert” driving skills. It has never been about my wisdom, my knowledge, my power or my expertise.

It has always been and always will be about King Jesus. He doesn’t need me. He chooses to use me because He loves me. Like a father who delights to have his child help him out with a project, so is the care of my Heavenly Father for me. How humbling it is to be a part of the work of the King. Work which has an impact that lasts far beyond this fading world. For my Father’s work is eternal!

So I continue to drive on in life by faith in my God. He has never failed me before and He never will. Yes, I am still uneasy in my humanity about what the future bends and twists of the road may hold. Yet, Jesus has gone before me and those “cat eyes” are going to lead me Home.
His road map for my life is the best one.

Sure, as He has lovingly refined my faith in Him, His path has contained some terribly rough patches. At times I have not been quite sure if I’ll make it. Praise the Lord though, He has never lost His grip on me and He never will!

There’s no one I’d rather be following than Him.

My eyes are turned to You Lord. This journey called life is downright frightening sometimes. Yet, it is so encouraging to know my Savior has gone before me. To know that You are always with me and You never leave nor forsake me. To know You have what’s best in mind for me.
So even in the roughest times, the darkest times, the painfullest times, my trust and hope are in You. So grant me grace to keep following the “cat eyes” of Your Word, trusting You for enough light for that next step.
Glory be to You Lord. Amen.