February 5, 2017
READ: Proverbs 16:1-9
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (v.9).
A friend and I once did an eight-day hike from Lindisfarne Island to Durham in north England. We went to learn about the godly men and women who had brought Christianity to the region—people like Aidan, Cuthbert, and Bede. I also took the pilgrimage because I was searching for direction.
Our goal was to arrive at Durham Cathedral in time for the Sunday afternoon service. Six miles out, we nearly gave up. Our backs ached and our feet were covered in blisters. But we managed to limp into the service twenty minutes late— just in time to hear the bishop speak.
“Some of you have been on pilgrimage this week,” he said. “Some of you have made the long trek from Lindisfarne Island to be here. Some of you have been learning about Saints Aiden, Cuthbert, and Bede.”
It felt like someone knew we were coming! Actually, we had stumbled into the cathedral’s one and only service dedicated to pilgrimage. If we’d come a week earlier, or twenty minutes later, we’d have missed it. It was a beautiful moment of serendipity.
Scripture is full of pilgrimages. Abram trekked to his God-given land (Genesis 12:1-9). The wise men searched for the newborn King (Matthew 2:1-12). Cleopas’ eyes were opened wide along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-34). In each case, those who walked discovered that Someone else was guiding their journey. As Solomon put it, the Lord was directing their steps (Proverbs 16:9).
I learned something in the cathedral that day. While I’d been stressing about my life and where it was going, the God I’d given my life to knew exactly where it was heading (vv.1,4). Through life’s hills and valleys, through its blisters and beauty, we can trust He’s leading us somewhere good.
365-day plan: Exodus 6:1-13
Read Psalm 37:23-24 and Proverbs 20:24 for more encouragement of God’s providential guidance.
How are you seeking to walk with God today? (see Galatians 5:25). When life gets confusing, how can you remind yourself that God is still in control?