The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23)
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
As many of you will know, each week I drive from our home here in Scaldwell, along the A43, up the A1 and then along the A46, to Lincoln. It’s not the most exciting of routes, in fact some people might describe it as boring, but it is generally quite a quick route which for me is the most important factor. Thankfully I really quite enjoy driving, I always have, so I don’t mind the drive, most of the time. There are however times when I don’t enjoy the experience as much and that is mainly due to the weather.
I don’t mind driving in the dark, but I do much prefer driving in good weather. Over the past few weeks I have experienced weather conditions that have made driving much less enjoyable. It has all happened on my drive home on Thursday evenings. The first Thursday it was rain, making visibility poor, and the wet roads meant that the lorries were sending up clouds of spray behind them. The following Thursday it was gusts of wind. You would be driving along and then all of a sudden you would feel the effects of a gust of wind as it hit the side of the car and you had to steady the car to keep it on its course. Then last Thursday it was patchy fog, which meant that you would be driving along, everything fine and then suddenly you would be plunged into fog, you couldn’t see clearly where you were going any more, all you could pick out was the lights of the car or lorry that was in front of you. Everyone would slow down and gently move forward until the fog cleared and all was well again.
Life is often described as a journey. Life can feel easy when everything is going well and the conditions are good, but often it feels like we are travelling through rain, or gusty winds, or patchy fog. It may feel as if the rain keeps coming down on us or we are getting covered in spray from others around us. Or it might be that all is going well and then from out of nowhere we are dealt a blow that threatens to knock us off course like a gust of wind hitting the side of the car, or we are suddenly plunged into a fog where we cannot see clearly the way forward.
At these times we need to hold fast to our faith, to know that God is bigger than anything that is thrown at us. To remember that we know where we are going, for we are going home, and that however much we get diverted, or slowed down we will get there in the end because Jesus walks right beside us leading the way.
Lord, when I cannot see the way forward, let me never forget that you are with me and help me to trust you for guidance.
Song: Written by Anna Waring in 1850, based on the words of Psalm 23