The Scripture for today is Proverbs 3: 5 - 6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Sunday’s message really resonated with me – Daniel, “Long Obedience in the Same Direction!” As I think of Daniel’s long life spent in captivity and his faithfulness throughout that captivity, I reflect back over my own walk of faith and the spiritual path I’ve been on. After my baptism and confirmation at the age of eleven, I briefly continued to attend church at First Lutheran Church in Texarkana, Texas. My path at that point was a straight one as I had opportunities to learn more of my Christian faith and grow in my understanding. After moving away at the age of 12 or 13, I spent the next 18 years unchurched. My path at this time was non-existent. Although I believed in God and was baptized, I did not have a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like the Israelites, I was wandering in the desert – a desert without the life-affirming presence of the Holy Spirit. I was in Babylon, a Babylon of my own making.
BUT, God never gave up on this wayward daughter. He continued to love me and tried to reach my stubborn heart. He was always faithful, always patient, and always in pursuit of me. His gentle knock on my heart’s door finally came to fruition just before Christmas 1994. My life was so successful in the eyes of the world – I had a great marriage, beautiful children and an incredible military career. But inside, I was so aware that something was missing. I decided to attend Hope Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach, VA with my husband and children that Christmas Eve. After Christmas, we continued to attend Hope Lutheran. Once again, I was back on the path.
As I reflect on the last ten years, I realize that although my path has had highs and lows, detours and wrong turns – I have been heading in the “right direction” as Pastor described it on Sunday. The sixth verse of the passage in Proverbs 3 really spoke to me, “in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” This has been very true of my life as I sought a deeper relationship with Jesus. As I worshipped God, prayed to him and studied his word, acknowledging him as the Lord of my life, he made my paths straight. He guided me, walked alongside me, delivered me, and disciplined me. Although I am still very much a work in progress, he is still faithful to this formerly wayward daughter. He LOVES me! He PROTECTS me! He GUIDES me!
Dear Jesus, I thank you for your love for me. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for your daily presence in my life – guiding me along the path you have laid out for me. I love you Jesus! I worship you! I praise you!