Can I admit something to you? It’s not something I am proud of. It’s not the sort of thing I want on my ministry résumé.
But here it is anyway:
I harbor so many unspoken fears about what my future holds. I fear future pain. I fear the inevitable struggles. I fear losing people I love. I fear abandonment. I fear becoming a has-been. I fear falling behind. At times, I even fear dying.
And then, of course, I end up feeling like a complete hypocrite because my whole ministry, as a writer and speaker, is built around the idea of trusting God. This virtue of trusting God also plays into my chief aim as a parent. More than anything, I want to teach our daughters to trust God above all else, and then I want to model that behavior in my own life.
Yet, while I really do want to trust God with my whole life, I occasionally return to my annoying, old habit of asking God to follow the plans I have carefully drawn up for my life. (Yes, I’m bossy like that. Tell me I’m not the only one.)
At the very least, wouldn’t it be nice if the Lord would hand us a map, so we know how to get where we are going and how to avoid all the potholes and rugged roads of life’s journey?
This morning, I had to refresh my memory about the truth that God’s in control. I call it “re-remembering what I re-forgot.” I re-remembered a sentence I wrote in my book It’s All Under Control. “We ask for a map, but instead Jesus gives us a compass and says, ‘Follow me.’”
Oh yeah, that.
God doesn’t give us a map. He doesn’t show us where the rugged roads are, even though He knows exactly their locations. He also doesn’t chastise us for being afraid. Instead, He strengthens us! And that strength involves shoes. I’m not kidding. Stick with me.
The other day, I ran onto a brief but life-changing promise in the book of Deuteronomy. It was so brief that I almost missed it, and at first, I didn’t even understand it.
The words were these: “The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25, NIV).
All right, Lord. I’m intrigued. Tell me more. (We’re almost to the part about the shoes, I promise.)
As I tried to make sense of this verse, I read commentaries and eventually read the King James Version of Deuteronomy 33:25. And that’s when I had a “Wow, God” moment. The King James Version renders the verse this way: “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be” (emphasis added).
Ladies, check out those shoes, would you? We don’t know what we’ll face in the days and years ahead, but God has already given us the proper footwear — made of the toughest materials. (I’ve recently put in a request for a touch of leopard print, with a slight heel. Yes, I even boss God around when it comes to His provisions.)
I don’t want us to miss this: God provides iron shoes for those of us on the rugged road. And, what’s more, He promises that “your strength will equal your days.”
Translation: For every single day of your life, no matter how rugged the road, how intense the fear, how deep the uncertainty, how difficult the circumstance, you will have the strength required for the journey.
Lace up, friend. We’ve got a road to walk, and we don’t walk it alone.
No matter how rugged the road, how intense the fear, how deep the uncertainty, how difficult the circumstance, you will have the strength required for the journey. -@dukeslee: Click To Tweet