The other day, I was reminded of what it was like getting around in a car when I was young.
I kid you not, we kept a Rand McNally Atlas (young adults can Google that) under the passenger seat in our car. If we needed directions, we had to dig out the paper map and try to find our way around. On major highways you could figure it out, but if you were on side streets in a small town, forget it.
And if there was construction, road closure or a traffic jam…The map was almost no help at all!
Then in the 90’s the internet completely took over the world, and we discovered amazing technology called Yahoo Maps. WOAH! Game changer!
You could literally type in any address and it would give you turn-by-turn directions. This was incredible technology at the time!
But it was limited. You had to print (young adults can Google that too!) the directions out. And if you took a wrong turn, you had to somehow figure out how to get back on the path that Yahoo Maps laid out, or you’d just stay lost. The map itself was immovable and nonadjustable. There was no ‘alternate route,’ and it was imperative that you stay on the path or that piece of paper couldn’t help you.
Then came Google Maps. Turn-by-turn navigation at our fingertips. No printing required! If you make a wrong turn, Google gently gets you back on track from wherever you are. If there’s an unexpected road closure or traffic jam, Google knows the fastest way and will get you to your destination in a timely manner.
Honestly, how did we get anywhere when our only source of navigation assistance was a map crammed under the front seat?!
Have you ever considered that, for some of us, our view of God is more Yahoo Maps than Google Maps? Let me explain….
If you see God as more like Yahoo Maps, you feel like if you make a wrong turn or get lost, that you’re required to get back on the path that was laid out for you in order to get back into relationship with Him. The path is fixed and it’s your job to stay on track or you’re left all alone to figure things out.
The truth is, God is a lot more like Google maps than Yahoo maps. If we make a wrong turn, He meets us right where we’re at, wherever that may be, and gently guides us on our way. He doesn’t sit, unmovable, detached from us until we get our act together. He meets us right in the midst of our mess, far away from the right path, and gives us what we need for that day to continue to a better place.
Sometimes it feels like we are abandoned by God when we mess up. But the truth is, those are the moments when, perhaps, He’s the closest to us.
Now, the enemy will swoop in with his lies of abandonment and rejection. He’ll try to convince you that you are all alone in your place of pain. But just like the prodigal son in Luke 15:20, God will run to those who need Him. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Wherever you find yourself on life’s journey, know that God. Is. With. You.
He will meet you wherever you are and get you on a path of blessing and purpose.
If you don’t believe me, Google it. 🙂