Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (NIV)
I love looking at maps. If anyone wants to keep me occupied and quiet for a while, all that is needed is to give me a map, and I will pore over it for ages. I love to look at the topography of an area or find interesting back roads to places I want to visit. Whenever I'm driving any distance by myself, I usually travel along the B routes, so that I can pass through some small towns and do some sightseeing.
I guess I learned my map skills in the Boy Scouts. I remember one year that I had to hike twelve miles using my map and compass in order to be awarded an Orienteering badge. I was dropped off at a predetermined location early in the morning and was given eight hours to complete the journey. I had to follow map co-ordinates and describe what I found at different locations. It was a wonderful experience, and I passed with flying colours. Orienteering is a skill that I thankfully still have, although there have been occasions when I've had to stop at a gas station to pick up a new map, as well as ask for local directions.
I also love reading the book of Isaiah, for the ancient prophet says many things that touch my soul. He belonged to a wandering people who, in his time, were exiled in a foreign land. The fact that Isaiah emphasized that God would guide them always was a source of great encouragement for his people. They thought that they were isolated and separated from God; Isaiah reassured them that God had never let them out of His sight, and that He was still in control of their destiny.
We all need to hear words like that throughout our lives. When we go through times of trouble and fear, uncertainty and doubt, Isaiah can speak to us across the ages to reassure us that God will guide us, even through the roughest patches in our lives. We may not know or understand what is happening, but God always knows the way ahead, so we can depend upon Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our guiding light and the Holy One who shows us the path to God. Lead us day by day, and help us to place our lives and times confidently in Your sacred hands. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.