All you GPS people would have been fine, but I like old-fashioned maps and, apparently, getting lost. I had driven to the home of some friends for supper. Now, I was driving back to my house. It should have been an easy drive home, taking the roads and turns exactly backwards to my house. “Should have been” is the key phrase here: my friends live in the middle of nowhere and the sun had already set.
It wasn’t too long before I had a nagging suspicion that something was wrong. I’d been driving down this road for far too long, but I hadn’t seen my turn, so I kept going. The road was one of those two lane roads, winding through the woods. Occasionally I would see another set of headlights or a house set back in the trees. It was foggy and dark. Panic started to set in and improbable, yet fearful, endings began forming in my mind. Would I go around a bend in the road and end up in the river? Would I end up on someone’s land—the kind of people who hate trespassers? Would I ever see civilization again?
Doing my best to hold on to rational thought — I decided to call my friends with whom I’d just shared a meal. It went straight to voicemail. That’s okay; I know other people from this area. I started making calls. No one answered. Then, a call got dropped; there’s no cell service! I was quickly losing the battle for clear, rational thinking.
It was dark, I was alone, and I didn’t know what direction to go. Funny, life can sometimes seem like this, too. But there’s always hope.
“God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). We are not created to live in darkness. God wants us to walk in His light. He does not always provide the answers we want, but He does shine His light in our lives. “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of [Jesus] Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). No matter how dark a place you feel you are in, Christ desires to and can help you to live in His light.
We are created for community; Christ began a church, a body of people. Yet, even the most connected of us can feel alone at times. In this loneliness, we can either fall more easily to the enemy’s tactics or we can seek the presence of the Lord all the more. God is always with us. “It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
It can be hard to know God’s plan for our lives. How often do we go to God seeking clarity in His plan for our lives? Expectation, pressure, and a list of a thousand other things can get in the way of discerning God’s plan. Just as the fog on my drive through the woods clouded the path, our prayer can be clouded by our own desires or sins. We don’t know what turn to take next. We forget our destination. Christ is the answer to our being lost in the woods. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). Christ has a plan for our lives and knows the direction we should take.
I found my way home that night—thanks to finally hearing a friend’s voice on the other end of the phone and reaching a random gas station and getting directions. I sure was filled with relief when I finally hit main roads with streetlights, people and street signs! When we fall into those lost places in our lives, or as we help direct teens who are lost, we must seek the Lord. Christ is the light in our darkness. Christ is with us in our loneliness. And He is the way when we are lost.