As I reflect on my recent “one wrong turn” experience, these words from 1 Corinthians 10:13 keep coming to my mind,
“And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
He did provide a way out of the race traffic I encountered, traffic which had successfully ensnared and entangled me, bringing me to a complete standstill. I wasn’t going anywhere soon – until a way out came in the form of an exit, which I chose to take. I could have stayed in the traffic and waited for another exit further down the road to give me another opportunity to extricate myself from this jam of cars which surrounded me, or I could exit now. The choice was mine.
As I look back, I realize that my Heavenly Father always offers me a way out of situations and circumstances that are holding me hostage. I just have to be brave enough and trust Him enough to take the way of escape that He is offering to me. The choice is always mine. Take the way of escape He provides or continue in captivity with my own plan.
Seems like the escape option would be a no brainer, but that isn’t always the case. When I was stuck in traffic, at least I knew the exit I wanted was just over the bridge. But if I took the earlier exit, I would leave what I knew for what I didn’t know. I didn’t know what kind of traffic I would encounter if I took the first exit. Sometimes what I know, even if not good, seems better to me than what I don’t know. There’s comfort in what I already know and risk in what I don’t.
God will always offer me a way out, a way of escape, that’s His promise. But when He does, when He holds out His hand to me – am I brave enough to take it? Do I trust Him or do I trust my own human wisdom? At those moments of decision, like when I turned toward the race traffic rather than away from it, then later when I decided to take that first opportunity to exit the traffic rather than gamble that a better opportunity would present itself later – at those moments of decision, which are many each day, I want to remember these words –
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8)
On my own, I make so many wrong turns. It really makes more sense to let my Heavenly Father direct my paths. So why don’t I do that all the time? Will I never learn from experience? I have His promises like this one,
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, (not into traffic jams – my words) He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
He stands ready to lead me, He wants to guide me – I can choose to follow or not. The choice is always mine to make. But when I go my own way, it never seems to lead me anywhere satisfying or good. I end up at the dead end of living for myself. Jesus said to Peter and his brother Andrew,
“Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” They were brave enough to accept His invitation. “At once they left their nets and followed Him (Jesus).” (Matthew 4:19-20)
Their decision reflected in their action, took courage and it cost them something. But they trusted Jesus and they took the way of escape from their current life of living for themselves that Jesus offered them. Every time I make a wrong turn and end up somewhere I don’t want to be and never intended to go, Jesus offers me a way out, a way back to Him, a way to the abundant life He came to give me and you. In fact, Jesus Himself is the way of escape, the way to reconciliation with God, the way to eternal life.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You make a way for Me when I need one and there is none. When life’s circumstances and my wrong turns lead me into places of captivity, You show me the way out, the way of escape. You provide the way of escape.
“I will go before you and will level the mountains, I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:2–3)
Oh, Lord, when You call me by name and show me the way of escape You are making for me, may I be brave enough to take it, rather than choose to remain where my wrong turn has taken me. Give me the faith and the courage to follow where You lead, to allow You to direct my paths each day.
sincerely, Grace Day