The other day, while driving, my husband and I passed a blind woman led by a seeing eye dog. Cars zoomed by and horns honked, but the dog remained focused. His task? To bring the woman to her destination safely. The woman’s task? To follow, not veering to the left or right. As I watched her, I couldn’t help but think how incredibly frightening that must have been. She couldn’t see the path ahead, or what lay between her and her destination. All she could do was focus on her next step, then the next, and the next. Through practiced obedience, she’d become accustomed to her guides every move, and she responded accordingly. When the dog stopped, she stopped. When he veered, she veered. Her sensitivity to his movements, at times, may have meant the difference between life and death.
Our faith walk is a lot like that, isn’t it? In many ways, it’s like walking in the dark, not knowing what obstacles, hurdles, or detours lie ahead. It’s easy to get so caught up in the “what-ifs” that we loose our focus on the here and now–that next step. But like a seeing eye dog who guides his companion with unwavering focus, God has promised to lead us to our final destination.
All we need to do is focus on our guide and take that next step.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
God leads us, not always along the path of least resistance, but the path of inner peace. When you surrender everything to God, trusting Him to be who He says He is and do what He promises to do, you’ll find rest even amidst the greatest struggles because you’ll realize it’s not about you. It’s not about how great you are, how gifted, talented, strong, insightful. It’s about how obedient and pliable you are.
Our trust is not based on our present circumstances, but instead, in the unfailing goodness of God. I love how verse six puts it–God’s goodness and love will pursue us.