The Passenger Seat
By Dawn Neely
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 (NASB)
I like to drive! I mean I really do! My husband is my own GPS device and he can find the fastest route to any destination. That does not necessarily mean that we will get there faster, because he enjoys the trip better than the destination. He likes to navigate. Our family calls his routes “The Cowboy Way” because he is constantly seeking to find the road less traveled!
All that to say that I like being in control. If I want to pull over at a QT or Sonic or a gift shop, I have the wheel! I can go as fast as I want, understanding there is such a thing as a speed limit, but I can drive knowing that I have little to do but ask, “Do we turn here?” or announce, “We are going to stop at Wendy’s for lunch.”
Ah, control! Having it my way! Until I was recently reminded of how out of control I really am!
For several months my husband had been short of breath and easily fatigued. He was under the care of a cardiologist and went for check-ups every six months. While on vacation in July, his symptoms began getting worse. Rush ahead to the fact that what was supposed to be a time of relaxation ended up in the emergency room at the closest hospital. We were told that my husband would have open heart surgery to replace a badly leaking valve and that he would need a recovery time of eight to ten weeks. Wait! Put on the brakes! Move over! You are not driving this car!
As I sat in the cardiac waiting room at the hospital I was helpless. I was on the passenger side of this car. I was reminded of the futility of running my own life. How foolish to think I can handle life’s ups and downs without the Lord.
And here is another thing I discovered. I needed help. Why is it so hard to admit that we are not sufficient unto ourselves? Our four daughters were there at every turn, although they all lived in four different directions. Friends, co-workers, acquaintances and church members all came to our aide. How wonderful to be part of the family of God and to have the hands of Christ exhibited so beautifully through others.
So here is the truth from God’s word. WE are NOT in control. The word of God directs us in our good days and in the days that come as a surprise. The verse in Psalms reminds us that His word is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take along our way. God’s word and His Spirit is a candle which may be held in hand to give us light in every dark place and chamber.
Do you find yourself in a place today that was totally unexpected? Or are you learning, as I did, that God is needing you to move over and let Him drive. Our God is holy, perfect, righteous and wise. He never makes a wrong turn. Trust Him today with your journey. So put your seat back and relax! He’s got you!
Dear Heavenly Father, Your word is truth. We ask that You would sanctify us by Your truth and that You would save us as we trust in You. We know the way of salvation is only through Jesus Christ. You have reminded us that we would know the way to live as we follow You. Grant that we would be determined to let You lead our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2020 by Dawn Neely. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 06 February 2023.