On long trips, I’m the navigator. Well… sort of. Even though I rarely have to use a map these days, I still feel proud when the GPS gets us to our destination. It’s as if my micro-decisions (“This route is thirteen minutes longer, but we avoid major traffic areas!”) are what lead us across prairie or rolling hills to our hoped-for end.
Traveling in faith can be that way, too. Our successful arrival has little to do with our own power, and everything to do with Who directs our paths. Can we take pride in the journey, even though we’re not driving?
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In the book of Joshua, representatives from the twelve tribes set up memorial stones to commemorate their crossing at the Jordan River. After forty years of essentially walking around in circles until they got their heads right, they were finally entering the Promised Land. Like I do sometimes, they were trying to navigate to the wrong destination. They thought they knew better than the GPS, and made epic wrong turns.
The Israelites had every reason to feel ashamed, to be reminded of their many failures in the desert. Instead, the Lord told them to leave memorial stones to always remember His goodness and grace, His leading out of the wilderness. Was it to warn them, or to make a promise of deliverance for the future? Both!
Isak Dinesen wrote, “Godly pride is faith in the idea God had when He made you.” I’m not proud of my errors, mistakes, and sinful detours. But I can be proud of the ways the Lord corrected my navigation and put me back on the right route. Like the annoying robot GPS voice that scolds, “Rerouting!” the way back isn’t pleasant. In hindsight, though, the corrections were always merciful, always lavish, unmerited favor.
If you’ve ever been to a church service where person after person stands up and recounts their testimony, you know the power in remembering the journey. The pride that shines on their faces isn’t arrogance or a false sense of ability, it’s the acknowledgment of the providence of God. In His grace, He leads us along paths we’d never choose for ourselves, knowing that the destination is exactly the one we need.
So today, be proud of your location. Like the arrow icon on a GPS map, “You are here.” The Lord is here, too. He’s ahead of us and behind us, as well, working out the details and the steps that will lead us home to rest in Him.
Where are you in your journey? Are you venturing into unknown territory?
How can you put your trust in God’s providence today?