Have you ever gotten lost? Have you ever been left behind? When I was four, my family (I have two siblings) went to dinner with my aunt and uncle who also have three kids. While we were preparing to go home, I decided I needed to use the restroom. Apparently, I forgot to tell anyone of my plans. They were out the door and down the road a few miles before anyone noticed I was missing. If you’ll remember a previous blog, I mentioned how quiet I was when I was little. Thankfully, the owner of the restaurant knew our family. I was safe until they returned, and I don’t remember being terrified, but I’m also not in therapy, so maybe that’s a trauma that I have repressed. ;) I also remember being lost in the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Mount Rainier (which I just found out was demolished in 2009 after they built a new building--another building of my childhood gone). I also wandered out to the parking lot of a JC Penney’s when I was a toddler. A nice gentleman held the door for me so I could go out. I cannot tell you what in the world he was thinking when I was obviously alone. Again, God was watching over me, and I was fine.
Needless to say, I know what it’s like to be lost, and the fear and anxiety that go along with it. I wish I could say those were the only times I got lost, but they were not. The biggest problem with getting lost is that anxiety levels increase dramatically, and it makes it even more difficult to think clearly and function properly. When we are lost either physically, spiritually, or mentally, the only thing we can do is stop and listen. That was what my parents told me time and time again. “When you get lost, stay where you are. We will find you.”
Where are you in your life right now? Are you lost? Are you full of anxiety? God repeatedly reminds His people not to be afraid. He reminds us that He is always with us. In The Message, Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” God has us firmly in His grasp. He hasn’t let go of us even when we feel completely lost and alone. If we feel like He is not with us, it is because we are not looking for Him.
Sometimes fear distracts us from the Truth, and we forget what we were doing. Fear and anxiety creep in, and we stop listening to where God is telling us to go.
We veer off on the wrong path. If we do this we have to stop, turn around, and get back to the right path. There is no point in continuing on blindly. C.S. Lewis says in The Case for Christianity, “And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake...Going back is the quickest way on.”
If you are listening to God’s voice and following the path He has for you, keep going! You can do it! Even when it is hard, He is with you and will never let you go. If you have forgotten to listen for God’s direction, stop right where you are. It’s okay. Breathe. He’s still with you. Stop what you’ve been doing, turn around, point yourself in God’s direction, and run toward Him. He’s got you. You are loved!