After I terminated my PhD last year, I felt lost. We know that when God closes a door, He opens another door. It’s a nice cliché. What people don’t tell you is that there’s a lag time between. A time for waiting on God.
That lag time is critical for faith to be built. God often reveals only the next step. As Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In the old days, an oil lamp could only illuminate a few feet ahead. Just enough for the next step and then more light for the next. (If you play computer games, it’s called ‘fog of war’)!
As we take the first step, God leads us to the next. The journey seems long and even endless. Where is the door? Where am I going? Even when we can’t see ahead, faith leads us in full assurance that God knows what He’s doing.
God led me this year to join a seminary, Trinity Theological College. I had other plans but God closed the doors. I realised that we have to keep moving and not stand still. It’s hard to move a stationary vehicle in another direction. But if a vehicle is already in motion, it can be easily redirected. With faith, we move forward but must hold on to the wheel gently to allow God to turn us if necessary. He may have seen the dangerous cliff edge just beyond our vision.
That is faith. A fantastic adventure in trusting Him. Even when life seems headed nowhere, we trust that God holds the future. No song captures it as beautifully as the old gospel hymn “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”. It was written in 1950 by Ira Stanfill after his wife divorced him. He could not understand why as he served God faithfully. The second stanza declares:
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.