Exploring God’s Path for Your Life, Part 2

 

Sometimes you don’t know what is ahead on your life’s path. We’ll explore that fact in the next two posts of this series. Today, we’ll discuss the times when you know a storm is coming.

We are blessed to live in a time when we have storm warnings. Millions of people recently affected by hurricanes had the opportunity to evacuate because the news of approaching storms was widely broadcasted. Storm warnings are blessings, and they soften the blows when storms hit.

Yet the storms we know are coming still cause hurt, and we need God to help us on our life path during those storms. These are a few times I knew storms were approaching on my life path:

  • When my best friend moved away in high school
  • When I moved back into my parents’ home after two years away
  • When I graduated from college with a minimum wage job and tons of debt
  • When confrontation with loved ones became necessary
  • When I deposited my final paycheck before becoming a stay-at-home mom
  • When my grandpa suffered a stroke and didn’t recover
  • When I endured a marriage crisis

Some life stages are predictable storms. They can be storms mixed with sunshine, when the rain falls hard for a few moments before the rainbow appears:

  • Moving
  • Newlywed years
  • Childbirth
  • When your child starts school
  • When your children become teenagers
  • Empty nest
  • Aging and declining health

During the times I knew a storm was coming, God was not only waiting for me on the other side. He walked alongside me on the path while the thunder rumbled in the distance. God gave me his Spirit, his Word, and his church in all the times I listed above. Sometimes I took his hand while we walked on the path together, and I welcomed the gifts he provided. Other times I focused more on the gathering clouds than on his comforting presence, and then I suffered from anxiety and discouragement. When I realize he’s with me on the path, my anxiety and discouragement fade away.

Seeking Direction in the Psalms

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 NLT

I love these verses because I picture God as my loving Father, holding my hand as I learn to walk with sure steps. I remember holding my toddler’s hand as she learned to walk. I delighted in her progress; I didn’t focus on her mistakes. I offered my hand to guide her along the smoothest places, even if the road was bumpy. If she took a tumble, I was right there to pick her up and help her get going again. There was no condemnation from me, only delight.

That’s how God sees you on your path, especially when the storm clouds are gathering. He doesn’t expect you to navigate your path perfectly, just as you don’t expect a toddler to learn to walk without stumbling. When the rain falls he stretches out his wings of shelter over you (Psalm 91:4) and uses his rod and staff to keep you safe from danger (Psalm 23:4). He never leaves you alone on the path, not for a moment.

These verses give me hope for my path:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

The difference is clear when I compare the times I put my trust in God on a storm-threatened path to the times I lean more on my own understanding. When I actively trust in God, the path seems straighter and easier to navigate as the storm hits.

For example, before I knew about boundary-setting in relationships, family conflict nearly tore my heart out. When I learned to study God’s Word for guidance, pray fervently, and seek godly counsel before confronting, the storm still hit but I wasn’t torn apart.

When I take hold of God’s hand and don’t let go, the path is straighter because I trust him for the outcome.

Questions for your reflection:
  • What storms are impending in your life path right now?
  • How are you leaning into God’s presence as the storm clouds gather?
  • How do you use his gifts—Spirit, Word, church—when a storm threatens?
  • Do you see yourself as bringing delight to God on your life’s path? Why or why not?

 

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  • Loving this series Sarah : ) Thank you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Bethany! Blessings to you, friend!

  • Yes, Sarah! So true! Holding on to God involves focusing on Him and not the storm clouds. I appreciate all the ways you encourage us to connect to Him when we feel unsteady or even fall flat on our faces. It is then that He is there for us, just like you were with your toddler–picking us up and helping us to take that next step on the path! Great series, my friend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I feel like I’m still walking with toddler steps sometimes. I’m so glad for God’s patience and presence with me, every step of the way. Blessings to you, Beth!

  • Esther Dorotik

    Wonderful post, Sarah! I’ve walked through many storms in my life. Some I knew were coming and others were from left field. But I can always look back and see God’s hand of protection taking hold of mine. It’s a powerful reminder of the strength found in the palm of His hand. Blessings, Sarah!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Esther. When I’m facing a new storm, it’s always calming for me to look back and remember the times God was faithful to me before. Blessings to you too!

  • It makes such a difference to know that God is with us in the storms, holding our hand and guiding us through!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lesley, I love this verse about God’s hand in Isaiah: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV

  • i like the caution about being aware and attentive to storm warnings, Sarah. what pain might we have been able to avoid if we had been wiser and much more savvy …

    • Sarah Geringer

      Agreed, Linda. I can look back and see the extra damage I endured emotionally when I didn’t heed the warnings in past storms. Now I’m relying more on my daily walk with God to stay alert.

  • So grateful for the many ways in which God has taught (and is still teaching!) me to pay attention and follow the path laid out in His Guidebook.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Love it…His Guidebook! Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  • Love this series, Sarah! So grateful He is with us in every step. XO

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you dear Lauren!

  • Sarah, so thankful for this series. Loved part 2 and this, “He walked alongside me on the path while the thunder rumbled in the distance.” Over the last few months, I’ve walked through two storms, one on the heels of the other. The Lord has taught me many valuable lessons as He walked before me, beside me, and behind me during it all. Because during storms, we’re hemmed in on every side by God himself. Psalm 139:5. Just like we must buckle down and secure things and ourselves during physical storms, we must also secure ourselves and buckle down our heart during life’s storms. Blessings! Thankful for you and your inspirational words.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Praying for you as you recover from your storms, Karen. I am blessed and humbled to know you found encouragement here, friend!

  • Amen to this, Sarah! I love the line that when we remember God is with us, it melts the anxiety and discouragement away. He is so good!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Kelly–I’m rejoicing in God’s goodness today too!

  • Alyson

    Hi Sarah, this is such a wonderful series! After Hurricane Irma came our way, I couldn’t agree more with: “The difference is clear when I compare the times I put my trust in God on a storm-threatened path to the times I lean more on my own understanding.” Psalm 46:1-2 got me through!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I am so glad you are safe after that massive storm passed over, friend. Psalm 46 is a worn page in my Bible, for good reason!

  • Beautiful words Sarah. It is so important for my faith walk to focus on God and not the storms. I needed to hear these words today! It seems there have been more than a few storms in my life recently – literally and figuratively! So grateful God never leaves us on the path!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Robin, yes, lots of storms lately in your area, I’m sure! I’m glad God never leaves us alone on the path. Blessings to you!

  • Christy Richardson

    This is the way of life isn’t it? The storms weave between the blessings. The storms are no fun, but they grow us and those little glimmers of hope are priceless.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Christy! I agree, the glimmers of hope come between storms. That is true on my life path. Thanks for stopping by!

  • I love to hike and whenever I get on a good trail I just literally feel like I’m hiking with God. This post reminded me of that. I’m so thankful for your reminder that God never leaves us alone on a path, even when a storm comes!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you so much, Carol! I love hiking too, especially in fall woods. It’s always a time of communion with God for me. Blessings to you!