all the right words

Before leaving this morning (waaay before the sun came up) to trek to Houston for my visa appointment with the French Consulate, I decided to read from my daily devotional book in hopes of finding any encouragement for the day's journey and slightly nerve-wracking meeting. I kid you not, the title of November 3rd's devotional was, "I Will Go Before You" and reads as follows:

I will go before you
and level the mountains;

I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by  name.
-Isaiah 45:2-3

   God's imagery of going before us lets us know that he desires us to go on a journey. This is not so frightening. Most of us are aware that the Christian life requires a pilgrimage of some sort. We know we are sojourners. What we have sometimes not given much thought to is what kind of a journey we are to be taking.
   As we stand at this intersection of God's calling, we look down two highways that travel in very different directions. The first highway quickly takes a turn and disappears from our view. We cannot see clearly where it leads, but there are ominous clouds in the near distance. Standing still long enough to look down this road makes us aware of an anxiety inside, an anxiety that threatens to crystallize into unhealed pain and forgotten disappointment. We check our valise and find no up-to-date road map but only the smudged parchment containing the scribbled anecdotes and warning by a  few who have traveled the way of the heart before us. They encourage us to follow, but their rambling gives no real answers to our queries on how to navigate the highway.

(from John Eldredge's Knowing the Heart of God)

Unbelievable. I stand amazed, as always, at the thoughtfulness and generosity of how Jesus provides for me. Can I get an amen?

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