Life is so full of symbolism, often we miss them but the symbols are there and can teach us so much if we are willing to learn. We frequently ask God to answer our prayers, as we define the answer, and we miss the real answer. I frequently see His answer in hindsight as I list my gratitude for the day. How many times before have we gotten out on the road to go to a destination that requires a lot of travel, and we ask God for traveling grace — the assigned meaning for that is “get me back home safely”. Old habits are alive and well, I still tell God how to answer my prayers. When my husband, Joe, pulled out in the storms that we have been having here in Louisiana, I called after him to be careful, be safe and a gentle reminder that I would be concerned about him traveling in the high water and thunder storms. I did not know it at the time, but the thunder storms of that morning was my heavenly Father preparing me for yet another lesson of faith.
So we talked frequently as I updated him on the weather and rising water levels, and because I had made this trip with him many times, he told me when and where he had to take a detour or find a new path, but he made it to his destination on time. My worry frequency was on ‘high alert’ because I knew it was still raining and where we live in Louisiana there is just a lot of water, but then all of Louisiana right now has a lot of water. Please keep Louisiana in your prayers. The trip usually takes four-and-one-half hours one way, the trip home took seven-and-one-half hours. But God needed to give a message to Joe, and I needed another faith lesson – trust God! I was thrilled that day when my new devotional book arrived because I have been participating in the online Bible Study through Women’s Bible Cafe™ (www.womensbiblecafe.com). Beth Moore’s “Believing God, Day by Day” was my treasure for that day, or at least I thought it was. So I hurriedly opened to the devotional for that day, and this was the scripture for this worrier (I was not in warrior mode). Joshua 3:4, “Don’t go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven’t traveled this way before” (March 11). I laughed to myself because my first response was, oh yes I have, I have worried, I have traveled the worry route many times before, the path is very familiar.
When Joe did get home, with repeated frequent calls because he was searching to find a new way home and I was filled with anxiety, he shared his testimony with me on how God had taken care of him, in a visible manner. He crossed the Sabine River leaving Texas behind, only to find he could travel no further into Louisiana, or not travel very easily. He recounted how he had seen the cars ahead coming in his direction begin to turn around, but he saw trucks coming through the water, slowly, but he too can drive slowly when the situation calls for it. But the truck driver who stopped to tell him that it was very treacherous also cautioned him to turn around. My husband shared with me his “military” and “law enforcement” reasoning as follows. Well I am in a large, heavy Tahoe and this should be a breeze, just have to be careful, drive slowly and stay in the middle of the road, actually in the middle of the observable edges of the road. So then he saw it, the log that suddenly floated across the road, carried by the swift current and deepening level of the water. So he and several other stranded drivers turned around, drove back into Texas and as a caravan found their way traveling north and then across to the Toledo Bend area, then south and home. As he shared he noted: “God was not going to let him go that way, so he put that log right there, right then, and if I had gone forward, that log would have hit me.” God was assuring my husband that the traveling grace we had prayed for would lead him to travel a new path, with a group of strangers who had decided to trust one another, without speaking a word. I still smile as I think of that log, in the picture below.
Maybe I have missed, no I have missed, many messages, miracles and blessings because I was determined to stay on the path I have traveled over and over, missing what would be on the other path if only I would be still and listen for God’s message, and see the caution signs, detours and natural road blocks, much like the floating log. We can not tell God how to deliver us, just trust that He will, and not always by traveling in the middle of the road of life’s journey. We can not tell God how to talk to us, we have to be willing to see what He is showing us, even in the midst of a storm. I have been hit by logs that life puts in our path, and now I get the message; I did not listen to the same words Joshua had written so long ago — and take the path God has wanted me to take. May I be more aware of when God is speaking!