When I stepped into my neighbor’s house, twenty veiled heads turned to stare at me. I froze. I wished the ground would swallow me up. Everyone got quiet as all eyes fixed on my husband standing next to me. He was the only man in the room.
Without blinking an eye, our hostess smiled and asked, “Perhaps your husband would feel more comfortable in our television room?”
She whisked Jose off to another part of the house as I walked into the living room and began greeting the ladies in a language I barely knew. I thought I might faint. When my neighbor had invited me to her son’s circumcision celebration, I’d assumed it was for couples. How could I have missed the fact that this was a party for ladies only?
When our family moved to the Middle East sixteen years ago, situations like this happened often.
An airplane had landed us smack down in the middle of unknown and uncertain territory. A lot of the time I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do in circumstances like these:
- When I dropped my gregarious, extroverted son off for pre-school one day, two months into the school year, he wrapped his arms around my legs and cried, begging me not to leave him there.
- When I decided to homeschool a year later, my neighbors thought I was crazy.
- Sometimes other kids made fun of my children for being Christians.
- I didn’t know how to live out my faith among people who couldn’t understand it.
During our years here, there have been many times when life has looked uncertain, but Jesus has always proved to be a faithful shepherd.
When feel lost, Jesus shows me the way.
Friend, your “lost” probably looks different than mine, but you don’t have to move to the other side of the world to encounter unknown territory. I bet you’ve had your share of twists and turns in the road of life. A cross-country move, a failed project, the loss of a loved one, or a divorce can leave us groping in the dark.
When we feel lost, our Shepherd knows the way. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
Jesus is the way.
When the road ahead looks uncertain and uncharted, Jesus is our way. If we follow Him, we can’t miss our destination. He’s both the road we’re traveling on and our end goal.
He’s Our Companion
I always tell myself where I’m going is never as important as Who I’m going with. Even when we’re not sure where to go or what to do next, we have a traveling Companion who’ll never leave us. When the road ahead looks bumpy and broken, let’s make it our goal to stick with Him.
He’s Our Guide
If we stay close to Jesus, we can trust He’ll show us the way. We don’t have to worry about what to do. Our Guide goes before us, opening and closing doors, giving us the wisdom we need.
You may be facing unknowns in your life.
Maybe your child will be starting a new school in the fall, or she’s leaving home. Maybe you’re finishing school yourself, or you’re between jobs and have no idea what the future holds. When life leaves you feeling lost, stick close to your Companion and Guide.
No matter how bumpy the road looks, we have a traveling companion who’s never let us down. He not only shows us the way, He is the way. All we have to do is stay near Him.
Now it’s your turn. Are you facing any uncertain circumstances right now? What helps you stay hopeful?
Note: This is an edited version of a post that first appeared on HollyBarrett.org. This summer, I am writing a book and have planned to refresh and share posts about my life in the Middle East and what I’m learning here.