About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Encouragement for Today - July 3, 2012

Encouragement for Today - July 3, 2012


Van Walton

July 3, 2012

Van Walton

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths... I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." - Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

A newly posted sign announced I couldn't make my normal, convenient left turn out of my neighborhood. Lined up on the road, snaking around the bend, was a neat row of orange and white barrels. Road construction had interrupted and re-routed my usual routine.

Faced with this disruption that would surely put a delay in my schedule for the next few weeks, I felt so agitated I hit my steering wheel. I'd have to design a new way, out of my way, to reach my destination and I wasn't happy about it.

Nearly a month later, when construction was completed enough to allow some through traffic, I turned left and surveyed the sights. I couldn't believe what I saw. No more lovely forest. Gone were the inviting trails into the woods. Decades-old wooden fences and bridges had disappeared.

The place looked like it had been ravaged by a storm.

Soon after, my life was more seriously interrupted when someone I deeply love experienced a horrible trauma. A disturbing phone call forced me to drop everything. The bad news exploded like a bomb - my heart and mind quaked with emotion.

Because my loved one's life was re-routed due to their circumstances, so was mine. Spiritual frustration filled my soul in the following months. I can't remember how many times I hit hard places. The results of this trauma carried me away from the direction I had wanted to go. I screamed angrily at God.

"How long will You take me out of my way?" I questioned.

I longed for the times before this re-routing. Yet, slowly I began to see how this detour of my own plans was really a spiritual reconstruction, just like the roadwork outside my neighborhood.

You see, once all the orange and white barrels were gone, I appreciated the full results. Smooth asphalt spread out before me. Two lanes of traffic moved steadily. The "earthquake zone" had been transformed into a park-like setting. A tree-lined sidewalk encouraged pedestrians to walk toward the ballpark and the neighborhood church. Admiring the new landscape, I reminded myself that even though I'd been inconvenienced, it was worthwhile.

Our key verse comforts me that God is there guiding us through the unfamiliar, making a way, calling to us: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths ... I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

My plans continue to zigzag through various unplanned circumstances. And I realize God allows me to experience these orange and white-barreled roads to illustrate a truth. He is at work up ahead rearranging the landscape of my life.

I may not be able to see what the new landscape will look like, but I believe He will guide me, make the road smooth, and be with me. With His help, I put my hand in His, traveling the paths He lays out for me, even though they may not be the familiar roads I'd prefer.

Dear Lord, You know how difficult life is right now. My interrupted life and the rough roads feel like they'll break me. Give me the capacity to trust You and graciously travel the paths You lay out before me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know the One Who promises to lead you?

From the Pound to the Palace by Van Walton

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Reflect and Respond:
How has my life been interrupted recently? How would God have me respond to this most recent disturbance?

Memorize one of the power verses below. Pray it out loud when disruptions threaten to interrupt your life.

Power Verses:
Psalm 25:4, "Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow." (NLT)

Psalm 37:34, "Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land." (NLT)

© 2012 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616G MatthewsMint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

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