A few years ago, my older brother and I had the opportunity to visit the country of New Zealand. To me, it was the trip of a lifetime. The most memorable part of the trip was New Zealand’s unique and varied landscape. Almost any sort of terrain and climate can be found in New Zealand. In fact, in one day we drove from the beach, up into snowy mountains, across swampland, and through a dense forest.
No matter where we went, even though neither of us had ever been to New Zealand before, we knew exactly where we were going. Even better than that, we knew exactly what we were there to do.
No matter who you are, life has a way of throwing you the unexpected. You might be moving along at a steady pace down the road of life when all of a sudden you run into a valley. Maybe a mountain comes up out of nowhere that you have to cross, or you get lost in a forest that—no matter how hard you try—you can’t navigate your way out of. It may come in the form of failure. It might be a health crisis. Perhaps it’s a financial hardship that has you stuck. Whatever the unexpected looks like, God has set up a navigation system to get you through.
God Provided us a Map
When you travel to another country, it’s a good idea to take two very important things with you: a map and a plan. If my brother and I had shown up in New Zealand without a map (or in our case a GPS), we may have become lost the first time we came to a fork in the road. And if we didn’t go with a plan in mind, we may have wandered from one point to the next, wondering what was the best thing we could be doing. We only had a limited amount of time to see that country, and without a plan we would have missed some of the greatest adventures of the whole trip.
Did you know that God doesn’t want you to be without a map? If you did know that, then are you using the map He gave you? God knew that our lives would be full of different types of terrain. Before you ever set out, God knew the mountains you would climb, He knew the forests you would travel into, and He knew the valleys that you would walk through. That is why He gave us a map.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
God Wrote us a Plan
A map is irreplaceable, but God did even better than that. He also wrote you a plan. When you feel like you’re drowning in a swamp and there’s no getting yourself out, you are there for one of two reasons. The first reason is that you are on the outside of God’s plan for your life. If that is the case, God has provided us a way of restoring our relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of His Son. The other reason is that you are right in the middle of His plan. If that’s the case, then there’s no better place you could be. That may sound crazy, but if you are walking in God’s plan for your life, then you are where you are for a reason. He has not let you fall out of His hands. If life has got you stuck, then there’s only one person you can run to: the One who wrote the plan. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit for a reason, because He knew that we would need a Helper. Seek Him, and He will lead you through the rough spots.
If you’ve missed the plan, begin to draw unto Him. He will bring you back to where He wants you to be. But if you know you’re in the plan and you are feeling like you just can’t handle it, trust and seek the plan maker. He knows what He’s doing.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ ”
His Plan is Not Our Plan
If we take this verse out of context, it could sound like everything is going to go our way. The truth is that God has a great plan for us; it’s just not our plan. When you decide to seek Him first, then the future that He has planned unfolds, and He will be there with you to lead you through the unexpected.
This life is a temporary trip. We have a limited amount of time to do what we were purposed to do. Get out the map. Seek the One who wrote the plan for your life. When you do this, you will find that you are on the greatest adventure possible.