`All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I read that quote and pondered on its meaning while folding warm towels in my quiet room. Lights were dimmed, candles burned...fragrances were taken in and I was at peace to do more mind-travels. This time my minds eye took me back to an illustration that I once heard a pastor give.
A child was up high on a sliding board, when he became frightened. He would not come down, nor would he turn around and go back the same way he came up. He felt stuck. Stilled.
"Jump," said the father of the little boy. I will catch you.
"No," said the child.
This went on for a few seconds, and then the little boy jumped. Landing into the arms of his loving father.
What the child had in his father is what many of us adults lack in our heavenly Father: Trust. How did such trust come to flourish in the child to the point where he finally mustered up the courage to jump? It was the past experiences with his father that assured the youngster that his father could be trusted enough to catch him.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in Exodus. "Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though ti was near; for God said, 'The people might change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.' Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea. ..."
Who led the people, God's beloved people "by way of the wilderness?"
God took His people and He led them "by the way of the wilderness."
God did this to calm the fear of His children. The Father did not want His children scared to the point that they would want to go back. So He led them through barren territory. A lifeless area.
Did the Father lead His children through barren country because His hand is unloving, uncaring, unkind, harsh, filled with meanness? No. Like the loving father of the little lad, He provided another route for His children so not to bring more anguish upon them. Therefore, the solution was for Him...FOR HIM TO LEAD them, and sometimes He leads us through barren...lifeless situations known as "the wilderness."
Remember Jesus, the Son in whom He was well pleased ... the Son who was found so despicable on the cross that the loving God turned His back on Him. But now, this same Jesus sits a the right hand of the throned with His beloved Father.
Let us remember that though some seasons are barren and lifeless in our lives. We serve Him who is the Life. And though we travel rough, rocky roads at times, God never leads us to travel these rough roads alone.
Just like He was right there beside His children leading and guiding them through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night through their wilderness, and the father of the lad stood beside him with arms of love open ready to catch his child. We can rest in trusting that our Father, God, will not always lead us through the shortest path of our experiences, but He will lead us and He will lead us to where it is He wants us to go and we can trust that whatever journey we take, He will be along side of us ...traveling with us. Taking us on a route that's best for us.